No. 258: Northwell’s big week, Winthrop’s ambitious diabetes study and the Center on Rural Innovation

Grandpa was right. Aluminum foil and antennas do mix.

Welcome, dear readers: To another Wednesday edition of your exclusive Innovate LI newsletter, coming to you on this Ides of November. Before we highlight another busy week in Long Island socioeconomics, a gentle reminder to send your congratulations, corrections and questions to We love hearing from you.

It’s Nov. 15 out there: On which we remember late greats including German-British Astronomer William Herschel (born 1738, discovered Uranus and a bunch of moons), American artist Georgia O’Keefe (born 1887, founded “American modernism”) and Judge Joseph Wapner (born 1917, presided over “The People’s Court”), among others.

And who can forget: Today is also the anniversary of the Battle of the Winwaed, a 655 AD throw-down fought in present-day Yorkshire, in which Penda of Mercia was defeated by Oswiu of Bernicia. If you were a fan of Anglo-Saxon paganism, light a candle.

Flash forward 1,362 years: Back in the 21st Century, CleanCapital – an innovative New York City-based online marketplace for clean-energy investing – announced Tuesday that it has closed its Series A round with 50 different investors anteing up roughly $3.7 million.

The impressive round is an important (if redundant) validation of a national solar market that’s grown by an average rate of 72 percent for each of the past five years, according to the independent U.S. Energy Information Administration. That spiraling growth creates “a sizeable opportunity to provide investors with access to new types of alternative investments,” notes Ryan Feit, CEO of SeedInvest, one of CleanCapital’s most prominent stakehorses.

The new investments will accelerate the understanding of new technologies and scale-up operations at CleanCapital, which is designed to help family offices, investment funds and other accredited investors buy into secure and diversified clean-energy projects.


Brain gain: A five-year, $4.2 million-plus National Institutes of Health grant has plugged a prominent researcher at Mineola’s NYU Winthrop Hospital into the world’s most ambitious diabetes study.

All’s Northwell: A first-ever vascular/endovascular honor, a critical accreditation renewal for Cohen Children’s and a new national post for an esteemed urologist highlight a pretty big week for Northwell Health.

Mixed bag: Orbit International posted a solid effort, but Lifetime Brands took it on the chin in third-quarter earnings reports released this week.

Write-in candidate: A new partnership with a Nebraska-based 501(c)3 could help Westbury digital-writing specialist FJD & Associates make new friends among professional caregivers.  


Farmingdale’s Kworks promises a truly child-friendly co-working experience; Melville’s H2M architects + engineers builds up its New Jersey team; and the Stony Brook University Incubator Program shows it’s not just for startups.

A few words from our sponsor: Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt is Long Island’s premier patent and IP law firm, with rich experience in biotechnology, chemistry, electrical, computer software, mechanical, optical, physics and more.


Looking good: Spotify is selling merchandise, in case you weren’t aware, and now it’s selling beauty products from artists. It’s a smart extension of its core business, and a good way to make allies of artists, too.

Grandpa was right: Aluminum foil and antennas do mix. A team of researchers led by Dartmouth College may have finally solved the problem of how to inexpensively improve wireless signal strength for indoor spaces with multiple rooms and strengthen wireless security.

Born in a small town: An ex-Google exec has launched the Center on Rural Innovation, a program to give a boost to entrepreneurs in small-town America and the tech companies smart enough to hire there.

Just sleep on it: A new study out from health startup Cardiogram and the University of California, San Francisco suggests wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit and others are able to accurately detect common but serious conditions like hypertension and sleep apnea.

Sorta related: Described as the world’s first smart earplugs, Bose “Sleepbuds” block sleep-disturbing sounds like snoring, barking dogs, amorous neighbors and road traffic through isolating eartips and soothing sounds tuned to mask the noise.

Very good news: Science says there is little reason to worry sex will cause your heart to stop. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, sudden cardiac arrest caused by sexual activity is very rare.

Into the wild blue yonder: In another huge confidence boost for the nascent “flying car” industry, Volvo’s parent company announced that it has completed its acquisition of Terrafugia, a startup founded by MIT engineers and MBA students.


+ Bossa Nova – a robotics firm that provides a range of service robots to the retail industry, including Walmart, raised $17.5 million in a Series B led by Paxion with participation from Intel Capital.

+ Roomi – a NYC-based shared housing platform raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Atami Capital with participation from Rosecliff, Townsquare Media, JXC, CDM and Great Oaks.

+ ThreatQuotient – a Virginia-based threat intelligence platform provider secured a $30 million Series C round of financing led by Adams Street Partners with participation from strategic partners Cisco Investments and NTT DOCOMO Ventures.

+ Quantum Circuits – a New Haven private venture founded in late 2015 to develop, manufacture and sell the first practical and useful quantum computers based on superconducting devices raised $18 million in a Series A led by Canaan and Sequoia with participation from Tribe, Osage University and Fitz Gate.


A tree grows in Rochester: It’s a Tree of 40 Fruit, a Frankenstein mashup of art and science that, as its name suggests, produces 40 types of fruit that is actually the work of artist and Syracuse University professor Sam Van Aken.

Vegan wine: In one of the most famous wine regions in the world, wines advertised as being meticulously absent of all animal products are becoming a thing.

And Classic Thanksgiving recipes with a twist.

A reminder: There’s really no such thing as “free” news. Please support great firms like Carter DeLuca Farrell & SchmidtGeorge Likourezos is someone you probably want to know.