No. 240: An Amazonian pitch, a cure for reflux and keep your head down Yogi

Chumlee is 35.

TG it’s Friday: Didn’t feel like a short week. Today is Sept. 8, on which George Rawlings was issued a patent for the padded baseball glove in 1885. Windows 95 was officially christened on this day in 1994. It had previously been known by its code name, “Chicago.”

The Hoboken Four – truck drivers Jimmy Petrozelli, Patty Prince Principe and Freddie Tamburro, plus a skinny 19-year-old named Frank Sinatra – won the Major Bowes Amateur Hour on this day in 1935. Sinatra quit the group a short time later because the other members liked to beat him up too regularly.

Dream weavers: A failed Kickstarter campaign and a runner-up finish on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome show have actually been big wins for the fledgling Huntington fashion house Laura Alison Design.

Shoot me now, please: Feinstein Institute researcher Craig Zalvan has found that a plant-centric diet battles acid reflux better than popular medicines and suggests eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts and avoiding dairy, eggs, beef, chicken, fish, pork, coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, greasy and fried food, spicy foods, fatty foods and alcohol.

A data play with pink sheets: Melville’s Digital Donations believes its charity-focused software platforms might also be a hit with the for-profits. Oh, and they’re going public on the OTC.

Dishing it out: Lifetime Brands, which we mistakenly thought already owned every known kitchen product company, acquired Fitz and Floyd, a tableware and commemorative ceramics maker.

Hold the horseradish: The guv was in Huntington this week to dump a bushel or two of seed clams as part of a $10.4 million shell game to boost local clam and oyster stocks to help filter the waters.

ICYMI: Luminati Aerospace founder Dan Preston gave As to our Qs; NYIT landed a $400K+ grant to study engineered skeletal repairs; and LICA’s next funding forum focuses on healthcare.

Hard to swallow: Holbrook-based Vitamin World plans to file for a Chapter 11 reorganization to help it exit “problematic lease agreements,” CEO Michael Madden told Newsday.

They asked: John Miller, Rich Humann and Kominicki are the latest on Greg Demetriou’s Ask a CEO feature. (Humann and Miller may be more eloquent, but guess who has the kick-ass Dorothy Parker quote?)

Dumping ExxonMobil: New York State energy czar Richard Kauffman is dumping his energy and utility sector investments following questions about two positions he held in companies that benefited from a state bailout. (And darn. Just when energy stocks are spiking because of the hurricanes.)

Lock and load: Bear season kicks off in the southeastern part of the state this weekend; upstate follows on Sept. 16.

Hey! Jeff! Over here! Amazon plans to open a second company headquarters somewhere in North America and is accepting proposals for what it expects will be a $5 billion construction job and 50,000 high-paying jobs thereafter.

The Big Number: $18 billion. The cost off Phase 1 of the Hudson Yards project, according to its developer, the Related Cos. (Under budget.)

Sweeeet: Mars, the candy giant, promised this week to spend $1 billion battling climate change. (Makes sense. Global warming and chocolate are not a good mix.)

Trump’s EPA: The fight over automobile fuel efficiency, settled during the Obama administration, is back.

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Going green: John Deere, the top maker of tractors, combines, balers, and other farming equipment is shelling out $305 million for Blue River Technology, a developer of crop-spraying equipment that relies on machine learning that would allow farmers to use pest controlling sprays only where they want them.

Got non-dairy milk? Sales of almond milk, which introduced us to the unusual notion of drinking a nut, have jumped by more than 250 percent over the past five years, according to Nielsen.

Most definitely related: In the wild world of product claims, the fledgling macadamia-nut-milk industry is charging into the American market elbows out, taking pot-shots at the dairy and almond industries along the way. Sourced from “free-range trees,” Milkadamia, as it’s called, has expanded its U.S. footprint to more than 5,000 retail locations and will be sold in Walmart beginning in January.

Sole brothers: Nike has invested in Grabit, a California-based startup that uses electroadhesion – the tpe of static electricity that makes your hair stand up when you rub it against a balloon – to help machines make its sneakers.

Stressed to the max: A health psychologist at Stanford, thinks we spend too much time worrying about stress and not enough harnessing it to learn and grow.

This might end yard sales: The 2017 James Dyson Foundation award winner, a London-based designer with a degree in aeronautical engineering, drew on his technical expertise to create Petit Pli, a line of children’s clothing made to expand six sizes to fit a child as it grows from six months to three years old.


Rhino, a New York City-based real estate and insurtech startup that provides a security deposit solution for renters and landlords, raised $1.94 million in a seed funding round led by ff Venture Capital with participation from Lakehouse Ventures, Picus Capital, FJ Labs and Red Dog, plus assorted angels and real estate owners.

+ Gridtential Inc., a developer of energy storage technologies, completed an $11 million Series B equity funding.

+ Gritstone Oncology, a California-based personalized cancer immunotherapy company, completed a $92.7 million Series B financing.

+ Zipwhip, a Seattle-based software platform for two-way business texting, closed a $22.5 million Series C financing led by OpenView, with participation from Voyager Capital and Microsoft Ventures.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.