No. 304: The Piano Man ages, the yacht club sets a new course and Feinstein’s codebreakers show some real nerve

Still rocking: Happy birthday, Billy Joel, 69 years young today.

Happy National Bike to School Day: And a glorious National School Nurse Day to you, dear readers, part of what we trust is a peaceful and joyous National School Nurse Week.

It’s May 9, 2018, and together we’re hurdling the hump of another busy week of Long Island socioeconomic progress.

Drawing board: We come to you today on the 264th anniversary of a truly noteworthy innovation – the very first newspaper political cartoon, which appeared in Benjamin Franklin’s The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.

The mother of all proclamations: Mother’s Day 2018 isn’t until Sunday, but on this date in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing the first Mother’s Day holiday.

Few faults in her stars: It was May 9 way back in 1922 when the International Astronomical Union formally adopted the stellar classification system created by little-known female astronomer Annie Jump Cannon – with just a few minor tweaks, still the star-charting system of choice a century later.

In other historical May 9 space news, a team of MIT scientists bounced a pulse-light laser beam off the surface of the moon on this date in 1962, recognized as the first successful “lunar laser ranging experiment.”

Maybe they cut math class: It was a Friday, all right, but it was May 9, 1980, when the original, classic “Friday the 13th” slasher flick debuted in U.S. cinemas.

Still huffing and puffing: And happy 13th birthday this May 9 to The Huffington Post – the left-leaning website launched on this date in 2005.

Speaking of birthdays: U.S. abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859), “Peter Pan” creator J.M. Barrie (1860-1937), King Tutankhamun’s tomb-discovering British archeologist Howard Carter (1873-1939), Candice “Murphy Brown” Bergen (born 1946) and late, great CBS newsman Mike Wallace (1918-2012) share the day.

And rock on, Billy Joel – Long Island’s Piano Man turns 69 today.

Pro’s pros: Before we dive into the busy week in innovation, three cheers for Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, recently recognized by the Nassau County Bar Association, The Safe Center LI and Nassau Suffolk Law Services for providing the most pro-bono hours of legal services to Nassau County residents of any large Long Island law firm in 2017.

Managing Partner Adam Silvers applauded partner Joseph Harbeson, head of the firm’s pro-bono program, and all of the RMF attorneys who provided the pro-bono services. “We take our responsibility as attorneys to help our neighbors who cannot otherwise afford legal representation very earnestly,” Silvers said Tuesday.

The puns don’t fall far from the tree: And had to share this, straight from the Z Files … watching the game with the little Z’s the other night when a commercial comes on tying the Infiniti QX50 into the moderately successful arthouse film “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Noting last year’s promotional tie-in between the Nissan Rogue and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the teenaged Z suggested producers cut to the chase and name next year’s “Star Wars” installment “Episode IX: It’s Audi This World.”

Screen gems: So, what’s next – the new “Solo” movie meets Solo cups? (Wait, that’s already a thing.) Give us your best movie-meets-marketing idea at, and maybe some story tips and calendar items, too, please and thank you.


A few words from our sponsor: With more than 60 attorneys, superior knowledge of the law, polished business acumen and proven credentials, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has earned a reputation for excellence and success. The strength of our firm’s resources greatly enhances what we can accomplish for clients; to not only solve problems, but to create opportunities. This ongoing achievement makes RMF an acknowledged leader among our peers and the preferred choice among business leaders.



More weekends at Gurney’s: With extensive upgrades in the offing, Gurney’s Resorts has purchased the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina.

Financial terms of the acquisition, which was announced Tuesday, were not disclosed. But Montauk-based Gurney’s Resorts – owner of Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, the Residences at Gurney’s and Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina in Rhode Island – is planning a $13 million renovation of the yacht club, which features 107 hotel rooms, three restaurants, a ballroom, all the trappings of your typical one-percenter country club and a 232-slip, 35-acre marina, billed as the Hamptons’ largest.

The 80-year-old club will be open for business this summer, according to the new owners, with hefty renovations scheduled for next winter and the new Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club & Resort slated to raise its sails by summer 2019. “We’re looking forward to elevating the property and its offerings for weddings, groups and leisure guests,” Metrovest Equities President and Gurneys Resorts co-owner George Filopoulos tells 27East.

Mightier than the sword: In a major-league display of professional media-leveraging, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a private letter sharply criticizing a CEO’s decision to pull her company out of upstate New York – and shared the pen-lashing via his executive-grade PR machine.

Cuomo’s media relations team on Monday released a letter from the governor to Dresser-Rand Co. CEO Lisa Davis, in which Cuomo delivers a pointed rebuke of the company’s plan to cease operations in Wellsville – a “reckless move” that will cost 250 jobs in Western New York and the Southern Tier, “areas of the state that absolutely cannot afford to absorb such a loss,” according to the “deeply disappointed” governor.

Noting Albany has “provided significant economic support” to the Texas-based Dresser-Rand Co., including “multiple economic-development grants” in support of its longtime Wellsville operation, Cuomo’s letter laments “an extreme and unnecessary measure that will upend the lives of New Yorkers and threaten the economic progress we have made in the area.” The full text of the scolding is available here.



Getting plenty of fiber: A new “sub-sea” system connecting transatlantic cable stations in New Jersey and Westbury (and specifically bypassing NYC) now links Long Island to a vast global data network.

Code read: In a monumental bioelectronics breakthrough, Feinstein Institute researchers have learned how to decode specific messages traveling along the nervous system to the brain.

Drill bit: Citing serious economic and environmental risks for Long Island, Gov. Cuomo is advancing state legislation that would throw cold water on President Trump’s offshore-drilling aspirations.

Molecular regeneration: The numbers may finally be catching up with the science at Stony Brook’s Applied DNA Sciences, where the losses are dwindling and the revenues are rising.



Hook, line and synchrotron: An online lecture series pairing Brookhaven National Laboratory with universities around the globe is introducing a new generation of researchers to photon science.

Radical thinking: A cautionary tale from Forbes about the important differences between radical innovation and disruptive innovation.

Joy story: The Long Island Press goes one-on-one with Long Island’s “mother of invention,” Joy Mangano.

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+ CloudPay, a New York City-based provider of enterprise global payroll services, raised $25 million in funding. Backers included Rho Ventures, Pinnacle Investment Partners, and Hercules Capital.

+ SoundHound Inc., a California-based  provider of voice-enabled AI and conversational intelligence technologies, raised $100 million in funding. Participants included Tencent Holdings Limited, Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Company, Midea Group and Orange S.A.

+ Casma Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company harnessing the natural cellular process of autophagy to design new medicines, raised $58.5 million in Series A funding. Third Rock Ventures made the investment.

+ Nanotech Industrial Solutions, a New Jersey-based nanoparticles manufacturer, completed a $12 million growth capital round led and syndicated by long-term investor EcoMachines Ventures.

+ Casetabs, a California-based developer of a surgery coordination application, received a total of $6 million in Series A financing led by Nueterra Capital and Evolution Financial Group.

+ Ubtech Robotics, a California-based maker of intelligent humanoid robots, completed an $820 million Series C funding round led by Tencent, with participation from CDH Investments, ICBC, Haier, Minsheng Securities, Telstra and Easyhome Furnishings.

+ Notable, a California-based provider of voice-powered healthcare, secured $3 million in seed funding led by Greylock Partners with participation from Maverick Ventures and 8VC.



Leading by example: The New York Institute of Technology has added two “entrepreneurial financial strategists” with significant leadership experience to its Board of Trustees.

VC for victory: From Harvard Business Review, why innovating like a startup means thinking like a venture capitalist.

A world of creativity: Lest you think innovation in a purely American concept, Reuters ranks Europe’s 100 Most Innovative Universities.

That’s all, folks: We’ll be back at you Friday, friends. Until then, please keep supporting the great firms that support Innovate Long Island – like Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, a Long Island cornerstone with more than two dozen key practice areas.