No. 202: Top VCs, a secret space plane and technology goes palooza in Westbury

Birthday girl.

Eadwela Tiwesdaeg: As they used to say in Old English. It’s March 28, on which NYC banker George McCarthy unveiled the Checkograph machine, which used microfilm to record bank transactions. (He later sold out to Kodak.)

Eric Carmen did not go all the way: The Raspberries broke up on this day in 1974.

Happy birthday Marlene McDonnell and Gwen O’Shea.

Welcome new readers Kevin, Denine, Scola, Kate, Kathryn, Gina, Maryann, Teresa, Carla, Tiffany, Jonathan, Lou, Donna, Douglas, Christine, Sue and Craig. Happy to have you aboard.

Weird data point of the week: New home sales were up more than 6 percent in February, but sales of existing homes fell 3.7 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.


+ New digs for green energy startup Jasmine Universe. (Meaning lots more space to display that Innovator of the Year award.)

+ Applied DNA’s Jim Hayward is building bench strength with a trio of heavy hitters.

+ Glen Cove’s Garvies Point Brewery has a pair of cans out, including the first in a new sour series. But IPA lovers will not be disappointed.

+ Or how about a Jamaican-inspired sorrel drink from Calverton-based beverage queen Alaila-Lee Lawrence? Even the bottle’s a bright idea.

Not related but interesting: Utah is lowering the state’s blood-alcohol limit from 0.8 to 0.5, making it the nation’s strictest drinking and driving law.

Quality Review review: The state is now taking comments for a proposed overhaul of SEQRA, the environmental quality review act, to see if long-overdue tweaks can be made without sacrificing meaningful review. It’s one of the ideas that has been pushed by land-use expert Michael Sahn, who notes that NY’s environmental regs require review anytime a project may affect the environment, versus those that significantly affect the environment, as is required under federal guidelines.

The rule is especially onerous for big projects, which can get wrapped in red tape or languish in court for years as the sides argue out what “may” means. The state seems willing, at long last, to help break the logjam. (And good timing, what with all those Trump infrastructure projects in the hopper.)

The comment period runs until May 19 and there’s a public hearing set for March 31. Related documents archived here.

Techpalooza: Pivotal, EisnerAmper’s upcoming tech summit, features name brand execs, venture capitalists, founders, education and opportunity. Oh, and cocktails. And performance. May 9, The Space at Westbury, 3 to 8 p.m., too cool to miss, info here.

Most promising LI-based Kickstarter campaign du jour: Handcrafted chicken and veggie treats for pets. (But probably not if you have a pet chicken.)

A few words from our sponsor: Farmingdale State College is New York’s largest public college of applied science and technology, and a national pioneer in environment sustainability. With almost 10,000 students, Farmingdale boasts Long Island’s second-largest undergraduate enrollment among four-year institutions and offers rigorous academic programs in business, engineering technology and the health sciences. Learn more here.

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The state of Long Island real estate: The fabulous Dave Pennetta helms the Real Estate Institute’s spring symposium, April 28, Stony Brook Garden Inn, info and tickets here.

NYIT and the LI Capital Alliance: Entrepreneur education series, next up April 3, 5:30 to 8 p.m., registration here.

Attention foodtech entrepreneurs: Inside the coming storm in product labeling, April 19, 8 to 10 a.m., Kominicki, Russ Statman and more, register please.

And: The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.


Cleaning up: Privately held Dyson Ltd. said sales grew by 45 percent last year and profits were up more than 40 percent as customers flocked to the firm’s battery-powered vacuum cleaners.

A primer: Everything you always wanted to know about biotech but were afraid you wouldn’t understand.

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“Capricorn One” imitates art: A small but voracious group of people believe we’ve faked the Mars rover expeditions.

Kinda like a NASCAR race: The Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane has set a record for orbiting Earth, now at 678 days, no clear reason why.

Nice they included Mary Meeker: The world’s top 20 venture capitalists, according to the Times.

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great institutions like Farmingdale State College.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.