No. 283: C-3P0 ages, “Muni Coops” thrive, Flygirl soars, and why B2B salespeople should fear the machines

Ice capades: It might look like shuffleboard on ice, but there’s more going on than meets the eye in the difficult, whacky and physically poetic sport of curling.

Over the hump we go: Welcome to Wednesday, dear reader, midpoint of your workweek and your kids’ winter break.

It can be tough, keeping the little ones occupied this week, but any date that brought us humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), jazz/R&B/gospel great (and civil rights icon) Nina Simone (1933-2003), beloved “Star Wars” robo-actor Anthony Daniels (1946) and legendary Long Island shutterbug Bob Giglione (born 1946, still clicking) is OK in our book.

Previously on Feb. 21: The first known U.S. sewing machine (patented, 1842), the electric burglar alarm (installed in Boston, 1858), the first U.S. bacteria laboratory (opened in Brooklyn, 1887), New Yorker Magazine (published, 1925), Alka Seltzer (first plop-plopped, 1931) and NASCAR (incorporated, 1948) all debuted on this date.

Malcolm on the media: Today also marks the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Malcolm X, killed this date in 1965 in New York City.

While many of his better-known quotes reverberate through history, the Muslim minister also offered this early assessment – which rings truer than ever today – on the promise and dangers of mass media, still a relatively new phenomenon in 1960s America:

“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

Drop us a line: On Malcom, Bombeck, NASCAR or anything else that strikes your fancy at Story tips and calendar items especially appreciated.

Wealth of knowledge: Before we dive into the week in socioeconomic innovation, congratulations to Deer Park’s CJM Wealth Management, the only Long Island firm named among the “Top 100 Emerging Wealth Managers,” as rated by renowned investment consultancy RIA Channel.

Ranked No. 61 with more than $400 million under management, CJM Wealth Management – one of only four New York firms to make the RIA Channel list – adds the new accolades to previous honors from Reuters, the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices and other top industry associations.



Health in numbers: The New York State Department of Financial Services published new guidance Tuesday regarding “Muni Coops” health consortia – purchasing agreements that allow smaller municipalities to team up to provide better and cheaper employee health benefits.

Echoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s love of shared municipal services, the guidance offers technical assistance while helping municipalities navigate statutory requirements that might interfere. Reverberating with Cuomo’s distaste for the Trump administration, it also counters “ill-conceived decisions that further increase healthcare costs and taxes” made at the federal level, according to the governor.

The DFS has already approved a Rochester-based Muni Coop and is actively working with multiple municipalities around the state, including Suffolk County, “to provide assistance and leverage the buying power of many municipalities to lower costs for all,” Cuomo said Tuesday.

Brookhaven’s banner year: A round of applause, please, for the Town of Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency, which raised its own bar in 2017 by closing on 20 economic-development incentives packages.

Those tax-abatement deals – focused heavily on solar-power generation, manufacturing, wholesale distribution and high-tech enterprise – led to $435 million in private investments and the creation and/or retention of more than 4,000 jobs, according to the IDA. Topping the 2017 list were business-development packages for Blue Point Brewery, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, Holtsville-based beauty-supply distributor Burmax and Tritec Real Estate Co., developer of the Ronkonkoma Hub project.

The 20 deals will “provide a substantial boost to our town’s economy, including many new housing opportunities for our workforce,” noted Brookhaven IDA Chairman Frederick Braun III.


A few words from our sponsor: EisnerAmper is a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm serving more than 500 technology and life-science clients. Our dedicated team of more than 125 professionals supports startup companies, emerging growth, IPO-track and publicly traded clients.



Spreading her wings: Veteran hair stylist Lisa Abbey knew all about high-quality hair care, starting with the need for cost-efficient, travel-friendly sizes. Now, Long Beach startup Flygirl Beauty Brands is soaring.

Liver delivery: Long Island’s first liver-transplant surgical program is coming soon to Northwell Health’s North Shore University Hospital (probably).

They’ve got the beat: In the unfortunate case that you need cardiac surgery, there are far worse places to be than Long Island, according to the NYS Department of Health.

Gassed up: Stony Brook University and National Grid have launched what intends to become the country’s most comprehensive research institute focused on natural gas technologies.



Like pulling teeth: Actually, the growth is off the charts at Dental365, a Long Island-based dentist group expanding to 12 regional offices by the end of March. Newsday X-rays the deal.

Death of the salesmen: Analysis aggregator Forrester explains why 1 million U.S. business-to-business salespeople will be looking for a new job by the end of this decade.

Curl up with a good story: On its 20th anniversary as a medal event, behold the grand history of “the roarin’ game” – curling, the oddball winter sport we love to love, or love to hate, but only vaguely understand.

The town that rewired history: Why some of the world’s greatest technological innovations – from the Eiffel Tower to San Francisco’s famous cable cars – owe a debt of gratitude to a small New Jersey town.



+ BruVue, a North Carolina-based beverage inventory system, closed a $1 million seed-funding round.

+ Overtime, a New York City-based sports media startup, raised $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and partner Jeff Jordan, with participation from Greycroft, Afore Capital, Fitz Gate Ventures and 645 Ventures, as well as new investor Kevin Durant, among others.

+ Celularity, a New Jersey-based newly formed biotechnology company, raised $250 million in funding through backers that includes Celgene, United Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics, Human Longevity Inc., Genting Group, the Dreyfus Family Office, Section 32 and the Heritage Group.

+ Evelar Solar, a Utah-based platform designed to measure household energy usage and designate potential solar-power candidates, completed a $5 million Series A and mezzanine round of financing from Black Oak Capital Partners.

+ Singularity University, a California-based benefit corporation that educates individuals and organizations on how to use exponential technologies, has raised $32 million in Series B funding led by WestRiver Group and Boeing, with participation from Silicon Valley Bank, TAL Education Group, Mukita and PeopleFund

+ LumiGrow, a California-based smart horticultural lighting company, completed a $5.1 million bridge financing round led by Ecosystem Integrity Fund, as well as new investors ValueAct Spring Master Fund L.P. and Greenhouse Capital.

+ DailyPay, NYC-based provider of a digital platform that allows employees to access earned wages in real time, raised $9 million in Series B funding led by Intercept Ventures, RPM Ventures, Inspiration Ventures and Draper Frontier.

+ InWhatLanguage, a Utah-based localization and translation technology provider, raised $1.25 million in funding through Enhanced Community Development, a subsidiary of Enhanced Capital. The funding was facilitated by the federal New Markets Tax Credit program.



Saturday afternoon’s all right for networking: The Spur, the members-only “private co-working and entrepreneur’s club” located in Southampton, will soon be open for weekend tours, starting on March 17. The Hamptons’ first-ever shared-office space will also kick off its new i-Kids program on St. Patrick’s Day. More info here.

The Great NY Smoke-Out: The Empire State’s adult smoking rate is the lowest in recorded history – just 14.2 percent as of 2016, down 22 percent in five years, according to the NYS Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Blow out the flip-flops: Thursday is National Margarita Day, and they’ll be celebrating in Southampton.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre: The Lavender Lady will soon be in full splendor, with more than a million purple blossoms on display.

Scientific method: Science still has not definitively recognized the phenomenon known as “free news.” So, please support the great firms that support Innovate LI – like EisnerAmper, and yes, that is Steven Kreit’s firm.