No. 26: Schein on Stanley Bergman, killer weed for Wallkill and loud love in Brooklyn

festo robot zooFesto makes an incredible collection of robotics.

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ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM: Students from Molloy College, Stony Brook University and Farmingdale State College will face off today in the state finals of the NY business plan competition, which includes 75 schools from 10 regions and $500,000 in prizes.

Molloy College student Mike Russo earned top honors in the recent regional competition, winning Best Overall and topping the Products and Services category with Sticky Quotes, his brand of inspirational post-it notes that are already on sale at Long Island retail outlets and at

Other winners included Stony Brook students Brendan Cox, Luis Lituma and Plinio Guzman, who placed second with Juice +, which converts kinetic energy into battery power; Farmingdale’s Terriq Davidson and Mohit Khurana, for gourmet popcorn firm PopCasa; and Stony Brook’s Guarav Lalwani, for Millennial Materials and Devices, which is bringing nanomaterials to touch screens.

Fans may download an app and vote their support via the iOS version,available here, or Android, here.

THE $11 BILLION NICHE: Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman goes one-on-one with Innovate LI to talk about life in the S&P 500 and as one of America’s best employers. Otherwise, it’s a “pretty boring story of just doing what we’re doing,” he says.

SEA ME, FEEL ME: The state is doling out $22M in federal grants to rebuild New York bridges, reinforce sea walls and strengthen anti-flooding measures. Surprising approximately no one, Long Island was excluded from the list.

ROBERT MOSES, PLUGGED IN: The state plans to spend $1.7M on a solar system at Robert Moses State Park that would generate enough electricity to meet, and maybe exceed, the park’s annual electricity usage, saving the state roughly $130,000 a year in energy costs. Hey, maybe they can reduce the parking fees.

ATTENTION FLOSS DENIERS: With rights to its novel periodontal drugs locked up, biotech startup Traverse Biosciences is looking for investors and strategic partners to head to market. Innovate LI checks in with CEO Joe Scaduto on the path to commercialization.

TAX HELP IN HAUPPAUGE: The Suffolk County IDA approved tax breaks for Festo Corp. and Voxx, allowing them to complete real estate deals that will keep 350 workers on the Island. Newsday’s Victor Ocasio:

CORE VALUATIONS: London’s Pearson PLC has quietly grown into what might be the most powerful education firm in the United States, with $7.2 billion in sales and $357 million in 2014 profits. Thank you, Common Core. LIBN’s Claude Solnik:



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WELCOME CORD CUTTERS: In a bid to attract young viewers who don’t pay for traditional cable, Cablevision launched two new products that include broadband service, Wi-Fi access and a digital antenna to capture over-the-air broadcast TV signals. Newsday’s Ken Schachter:

WE CAN HEAR YOU NOW: Stony Brook University has selected Unify – formerly Siemens – to replace the school’s aging telephone system, in use daily by more than 60,000 students and staffers at four campuses, the university medical center, R&D park, incubators and satellite locations.

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UNMAKING MAKERBOT: The 3-D printing pioneer MakerBot, frequently touted as the poster child for a tech-driven revival of manufacturing in the City, is downsizing. The Brooklyn-based company recently laid off staff and closed its three retail stores, including a flagship in the Nolita neighborhood. Crain’s here:

WORKING TOGETHER: New York’s latest tech space startup, Cowork|rs, which already has locations in midtown south and Brooklyn, is taking 30K square feet at 55 Broadway, with another 40K feet in the works. “There’s a massive change that is happening downtown where people are being priced out of midtown south,” founder Shlomo Silber told CNY.

Also: Co-working competitor WeWork has inked a deal for an entire 136,118-square-foot building at 315 West 36th Street.

WILL WORK FOR VOTES: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – we think we’re the first to say that – is looking for tech talent. Her Brooklyn-based campaign HQ needs a deputy CTO, a frontend director and engineers, product managers, a database architect and Python, UX, iOS and Android help.

And: Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, the first Pentagon chief to visit Silicon Valley in 20 years, said the military needs to shed its “dreary” image and attract young, tech-savvy people. Did we mention this was the defense department’s first visit to the west coast in two decades? Just checking.

THE FEDS SHOULDA HIRED THEM: How online health insurer Oscar went from startup to a $1.5B valuation in 21 months. The secret was making Obamacare easy for the masses.


WHAT TO LOVE ABOUT SYRACUSE: “You can show up at Hancock airport 15 minutes before a flight and still have time to get a cocktail before you board.”

FRACKING UPDATE: A report on the state’s reasons for banning fracking – running several thousand pages – will be printed soon. And then, perhaps, buried in shale.

ON THE ROAD: Albany-based fuel cellmaker Plug Power is launching a talking tour, including stops in NYC, Chicago and Washington:

DIGITAL NOSTALGIA: Can’t think of anything fresh for your social media pages? There’s an app for that. Timehop will plunder your personal “digital archives” to tell you what you were doing in the past, giving you fresh memories to share. More from the Business Insider:

WALLKILLER WEED: The Orange County town of Wallkill has greenlighted a proposal by Valley Agriceuticals to grow marijuana on a 110-acre parcel in a partnership with Seach, one of the largest medical cannabis farms in Israel. Construction is set to begin on a 60,000 square-foot greenhouse. The Time-Herald Record:

GOODBYE LASIK: Italian biotech startup MHOX thinks it can use bioprinting to create replacement parts for the human eye, maybe even the entire eye one day. The project is called – what else? – EYE, for Enhance Your Eye.


Innovate LI checked in with Hofstra CFI chief Kevin Craig, who also honchoes the school’s Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory.

Clean-gen startup Brimes Energy heads to open water this summer to test a newfangled wave machine it hopes will turn ocean currents into electrical current.

A New York judge has granted two Stony Brook University research chimps a court date to challenge their detention:

More than 6,000 Southold residents were left in the dark when a substation failed on Tuesday. Luckily it was at 11 p.m.

Famed DNA researcher James Watson made a $1M donation to Cold Spring Harbor Lab, part of the more than $4M he netted selling his Nobel Prize at a Christie’s auction. Innovate LI:

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research inked a partnership deal to battle brain cancers with drugs, avoiding surgery and chemotherapy.

The state said its Jobs Express online employment platform hit a record 115,000 available positions, signaling a pickup in economic activity.

Start-Up NY chief Leslie Whatley told a gathering of entrepreneurs that the tax-free program just needs a little time to take root. Newsday’s James T. Madore was there:


HOW’D THAT HAPPEN? Bronx-based City Island Beer Co. has gone kegs-up after two years in an otherwise amber-hot craft brewing market. Could it be because their beers were actually made in Red Sox nation? CNY:

EAT QUICK: British filmmaker Gus Filgate has launched a series of shorts on famous final meals. Called Last Suppers, the series so far includes Napoleon (steak and eggs), Caesar (shrimp, mussels and mutton chops) and Jimi Hendrix (tuna sandwich). Pretty incredible photography:

KEEP IT DOWN: The most complaints about loud sex last year came from Brooklyn, with 42 of 133 total calls to the city’s 311 system. Six were about the same Bay Ridge couple. Queens was second with 37. No complaints at all from Staten Island. DNAinfo:

LIVE FREE OR GEORGE: Every four years we have the Olympics, the World Cup and George Pataki running around New Hampshire. Is he serious this time? Bloomberg tries to answer the question:

LUMBERJACKING LOOKING PRETTY GOOD: Newspaper reporting was voted America’s worst job last year, nudging out lumberjack, which had won 2013 honors. Reporters take home an average annual salary of $37K and the field has job growth prospects of minus 13 percent, according to Career Cast.

BUT WAS IT UMAMI? Australian scientists have for the first time captured live images of the process of taste sensation on the tongue. Well, a mouse tongue. But snapping shots of a human’s 2,000 taste buds can’t be far behind. Science Daily:

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