No. 256: Historic places, earning potential, winning students and will.i.am doing customer service

Good customer service is only limited by your imagination.

Good day, comrades: Take a bow this Nov. 8, dear readers, if you were around 100 years ago today, when Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin took over following Russia’s October Revolution of 1917. (Just, you know … bow carefully.)

Welcome new readers Ted, Joseph, Diane and Daniel, and please share your thoughts at editor@innovateli.com. Story tips, corrections and back-pats gratefully accepted.

Shed no tiers for them: Heartfelt congratulations to our friends at Uniondale law firm Farrell Fritz, which earned a Tier 1 “Best Law Firm” ranking in the 2018 edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, released this week. The firm has previously been honored with Tier 1 rankings in Employment Law and Trusts & Estates Law, as well as Tier 2 honors in Healthcare Law and Real Estate Law.

That was Den: Kudos also to the winners of the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Lion’s Den competition, through which the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship challenged innovative students to pitch their brightest business ideas.

The $600 grand prize went to the Class of 2020’s Kristen Dansereau and her Kropod, an iPhone/iPhone camera accessory designed to create stability and otherwise improve photo documentation.

Second place went to Lucas Viegas Campos (Class of 2019) for We Wash, a waterless car wash that makes house calls. Third place went to Michael Licatesi (Class of 2019) for Route, a unique ride-hailing service with advanced benefits for both drivers and customers, while Ryan Wesley (Class of 2018) earned an honorable mention for Ethica Cosmetics, a line of novelty press-on fingernails.

TOP OF THE SITE

Improved diagnosis: It took almost a decade, but Islip tech firm FindaTopDoc is finally feeling better (maybe it’s the million-plus healthcare providers in its innovative national database).

History in the making: Four Long Island locales are among 21 statewide nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

SigNature move: Stony Brook biotech Applied DNA Sciences has scored a new U.S. patent for its SigNature T molecular tags (with more on the way).

See change: Farmingdale tech firm Cemtrex Inc. is pushing hard into the worlds of virtual and augmented reality, with a big acquisition in the offing.

They’ve got the beat: Northwell Health has opened a new Cardiac Rehab Center in Great Neck.

Earnings: Long Island giants Henry Schein, Napco Security Technologies, Nathan’s Famous and Aceto all offered their quarterly financial reports this week.

CPI soars again: Edgewood-based CPI Aerostructures is climbing into the cockpit of the deadly F-35 Lightning II.

ICYMI

A startup Port Jefferson comic book store has gone back in time, while South Nassau Communities Hospital is focused on the future.

A few words from our sponsor: Nixon Peabody works with clients who are building the technologies and industries of the future. We’ve got the expertise necessary to drive your business forward and help you negotiate risks and opportunities related to all areas of business and the law, including business formation, capital raising, IP, labor and immigration, and FDA.

WHAT WE’RE READING

Fingers crossed for this one: Tesla is in “production hell” with the Model 3, per Elon Musk himself. The car features one of the most highly automated vehicle production lines ever created, so it makes sense that acquiring a company specializing in automated manufacturing would help the automaker escape hell’s fiery environs.

Safety in numbers: Proofpoint, which provides SaaS products to protect businesses’ email, social media and other services, has acquired Cloudmark for $110 million in cybersecurity consolidation play.

I Gotta Feeling: I.am+, the tech startup founded by pop star and entrepreneur will.i.am, has raised $117 million in venture funding as it makes its entry into the corporate computing market with a voice assistant for customer service.

Bite of the big apple: A new biotech apple is about to hit grocery stores across the nation as the country’s first harvest of the genetically modified fruit ships from orchards in Washington State.

RECENT FUNDING

+ Anfiro – a Cambridge-based water technology startup closed a $1.1 million seed funding round backed by a Prime Coalition syndicate that included the Ellis Family Fund at The Boston Foundation, Incite Labs, Autodesk Foundation, Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

+ Powerful – a Miami-based food and beverage company raised $4 million in Series B funding led by River Hollow Partners and secured asset-based lending financing through a partnership with Gerber Finance.

+ ThirdChannel – a Cambridge-based retail intelligence platform provider closed a $7 million Series A funding round led by Fung Capital.

+ Pienso – a Brooklyn AI-based text data analytics platform for non-programmers raised $2.1 million in a seed round led by Eniac Ventures with participation from SoftTech, Indicator and E14.

+ Tear Film Innovations – a developer of products for the treatment of evaporative dry eye and related syndromes including Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and blepharitis completed a $9 million Series A funding led by Visionary Ventures Fund and Tigris Ventures.

+ Intersection – a NYC-based smart cities technology and media company closed a $150 million funding round led by Graham Holdings Co., with participation from new investors ArrowMark Partners and NewSpring.

BELOW THE FOLD

Viewer discretion advised: How to spot the Netflix email scam hitting millions of subscribers.

It’s back: It’s illegal in 12 states; it costs almost $200; and it’s only released every two years.

Like a warm sweater for winter’s chill: But it tastes better.

Might we say: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great firms like Nixon Peabody.

Compiled by Gregory Zeller and Marlene McDonnell. Thanks for reading