No. 208: Post-holiday meatloaf, best NY biz spots and a sweet-talking vending machine named Vicki

Michelle Gillette Kelly , co-founder of gluten-free cookie brand Ms. Michelle's.

TG it’s T: A great Tuesday, everybody, and hope you made the most of the holiday break. Join us in a warm Innovate welcome to new readers Julianna, Tom, Jeff, Surabhi, MeiLin, Audrey, Barney, Barbara, our great lost friend Tommy who resurfaced in Florida, Katy, Bitadzus, N. Roberts, Ashlyn and Zomorua. Glad to have you all aboard.

What to do with the leftovers: Horseradish meatloaf. Mmmm.

Now that you’re back at work: Friday’s newsletter was a good one.

Today is National Newspaper Columnists Day, which also commemorates the battlefield death of Ernie Pyle, the Scripps-Howard correspondent who won the Pulitzer for his folksy tales of American combat soldiers in World War II, whom he dubbed GI Joes.

The Debrief: We catch up with Pete Donnelly on his larger role at Accelerate Long Island, his spanking-new downstate seed fund and life in the ecosystem.

But what business would that be? What’s the best small city in New York to start a business? Glad you asked. The answer, according to a study by personal finance site WalletHub, is Irondequoit, just north of Rochester on the shores of Lake Ontario. It’s followed closely by Tonawanda, a bit north of Buffalo, south of the Falls.

They ranked 11 and 14 on WalletHub’s Top 20 list, which considered such metrics as labor and office space costs, education levels, workforce productivity and the number of startups per capita. Holland, Mich. topped the list nationally. Texas was the only other state with two Top 20 cities.

Meet Vicki: She’s an AI-powered vending machine that does iris and fingerprint scans, answers consumer questions and offers deals on additional products, like a half-priced beverage to go with your sandwich. (And just imagine the data scrape!)

Please write: Send tips, news, story ideas, calendar items, releases, promotions, job openings, birthdays, congratulations, criticisms and corrections to

‘Grats: Four Northwell Health facilities have been reaccredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. North Shore University Hospital and Cohen Children’s Medical Center were ranked as top-service Level 4 facilities, while programs at Southside and Lenox Hill received Level 3 designations.

Hearty breakfast: WEDLI explores LI’s fast-growing foodtech sector, including cookie queen Michelle Kelly, Copia Granola’s Grace Marie Longinetti and Nick Voulgaris of Kerber Farms, Thursday April 20, 8 to 10 a.m., $25 for members, $35 for the rest of us, register here.

But no: Facebook’s Instant Articles feature was supposed to be the third-party delivery system that could save traditional newspapers. Oops.

About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.


Hofstra’s student business plan competition hits the stage today with 10 teams vying for $40,000 in awards, including a $20,000 top prize. Details and free registration here.

EisnerAmper’s Pivotal conference combines deep thought, tech talk, Grade A networking, performance and apres-beveraging in one giant happening. Dude. May 9, 3 to 8 p.m., The Space in Westbury, register here.

Do you know how much your business is really worth? AVZ business evaluation specialist John Shillingsford will walk you through it, April 28, a.m., Dale Carnegie offices in Hauppauge.

Getting along with the FDA, specifically on food labeling, April 19, 8 a.m., Melville Marriott, Nixon Peabody, industry experts and Kominicki MCs, please register.

If you’re not doing the AVZ thing, the fabulous Dave Pennetta helms the Real Estate Institute’s spring symposium, April 28, Stony Brook Garden Inn, info and tickets here.

The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.

Forgive us, but: We never tire of watching SpaceX stick a booster landing.

Finally: One other thing you can do with leftover horseradish.

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great institutions like SUNY Old Westbury.

Did we mention liking us on Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter?

And how about that sponsorship thing? Your firm could be winning envious glances and new customers right now. Our annual sponsorship lasts a full year.

Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.