No. 35: Text therapy, a dip in women’s biz and a hot new hangover cure

STATE OF MS. BIZ: Women opened just 37% of new businesses last year, down from a 20-year average of about 41%, according to a study by Experian. Women were most likely to launch beauty shops, retail stores and personal-service businesses. A cool infographic

GLWT: Pine Plains-based Talkspace, a texting service that connects the troubled with their therapists, landed a $9.5M investment, the first in the mental-healthtech arena. Boston’s Spark Capital and New York’s SoftBank Capital led the series A raise, with existing investors Metamorphic Ventures and The Time contributing.

ADDED JUICE: BessTech, an Albany lithium-ion battery tech startup, has landed $250K from a local venture capital group to speed up product development and hire new staff. BessTech, which grew out of SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, got the funding from Eastern New York Angels. BessTech’s funding now totals $1.3M.

SUPER TOOLS: The University at Buffalo landed a $9M grant from the National Science Foundation to upgrade a computer tool, designed by UB researchers, that runs the foundation’s network of supercomputers more efficiently. The school previously was awarded $7.7M to develop XD Metrics on Demand.

TGIF: A fine Friday everyone and a special welcome to new readers. Don’t forget to send tips, news, ideas, calendar items, releases, promotions, job postings, criticisms and corrections to

MOBILE COUNSEL: Legal help for millennials is but a click away with, a new service from Jericho native Samuel Shusterhoff. La différence: Local attorneys who sign up specifically because they’re looking for next-gen customers. In 38 states and counting. Innovate LI

PULSE OF THE FUTURE: Kevin Tracey, chief of North Shore-LIJ’s Feinstein Center, is leading research into electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve that will soon treat arthritis, heart maladies and numerous inflammatory conditions. All in a half-millisecond zap. Innovate LI

NEW MARKETS: Teq, the Huntington educational software firm run by former CA heavyweights, inked distribution deals that will expand the firm’s footprint into rust belt and southwestern states. Innovate LI

COLLABORATING: Stony Brook University was the big winner in the state system’s campus collaboration program, a $525K effort that links students and faculties across campuses, this time in materials and advanced manufacturing research. SUNY RF

HOT EVENTS: North Shore-LIJ prez Michael Dowling will update the state of health care at the LIA’s next exec breakfast, May 21, 8 a.m., free for members, registration required. Email Matt Cohen at

Taste The East End, Sunday, May 24, 7 to 10:30 p.m., LI Aquarium, lots of local brews, wines, hard drinks, restaurants and vendors, live music, must be 21, $64.95 includes everything.

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Hofstra University, Long Island’s largest institution of higher education, is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us


Inveterate food tinkerer Steve Gold has a proprietary chicken-beef burger mix that chops half the calories and cholesterol. Cluck ’n Moo meatballs and sausage coming soon. The LI Angel Network is considering. Innovate LI

Pall Corp. agreed to sell itself to Washington-based Danaher Corp. for $13.8B, eliminating another local public company from the tickers. The deal pushed Pall shares over $123, making it briefly the largest LI company by market cap.

Stony Brook med student Joseph Miccio is developing an erasable tattoo ink that will replace expensive laser treatments for those who decide they are no longer Born To Raise Hell. Innovate LI

First Data Corp. plans to close its Melville operation and move west, with a loss of 500+ jobs, Newsday reported. Real estate sources tell Innovate the firm wants to settle in Long Island City. The current First Data building on Route 110 – 195K sf – is being marketed for $40M. Which is pricey.

The state unveiled a $2M investment fund aimed at women and minorities in tech. Innovate LI

The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ med school graduated its first class of 30 pioneers who are heading off to some of health care’s finest institutions. Some here. Innovate LI

Verizon and Sprint settled charges that they banged consumers for unwanted third-party messaging services. Innovate LI

New York doled out $141M for affordable housing, a must-have to keep young Long Islanders who want cool places to live. The LI allocation went to Riverhead. Innovate LI

Hofstra’s Debbi Honorof on training the next generation for the workplace. It’s a given they’ll wear their earbuds. Innovate LI

ClickedIn: Honorof, Cluck ’n Moo and tattoo removal were the top-followed newsletter stories of the week.

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POTTING WAYS: Entrepreneur Adam Kurtz is bowing out of the state’s marijuana licensing program and plans to move to Oregon, where there is less competition and the fee is only $4K to apply. Kurtz had planned to launch NY Herbal and was looking to raise $400K to cover startup costs. “Part of me wonders if the five (NY) licenses have already been picked out,” he told Crain’s.

Just to remind you: The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in New York are: cancer,  immune deficiency syndrome, ALS, Parkinson’s, MS, some spinal cord conditions, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease,  neuropathies and Huntington’s disease. Even PTSD didn’t make it.

PERCOLATING: NYC-based Percolate, which has ambitions of becoming the Workforce of marketing services, raised $40M in a series C, bringing its total haul to date to $74.5M. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, joined by Sequoia Capital, GGV Capital, First Round Capital and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Though a Big Apple company, Percolate has been expanding in the San Fran area, where there’s more talent. NYBizJ

HOT EVENT: The 9th Avenue International Food Festival, Saturday and Sunday between 42nd and 57th, offering everything from Amish food to Zeppoli.

NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Bad boy chef and travel star Anthony Bourdain plans to open a 100K sf food market in RXR Realty’s Pier 57 in the Meatpacking District. Included are a farmer’s market, an oyster bar, bakery, tapas bar, and cuisines from around the world, some stalls permanent, others rotating in and out.

Good timing: Google just agreed to take 250K sf in the building. Real Deal

NOT FARE: Some of the nation’s leading Internet companies are lobbying against a proposed change to New York City taxi policy that would allow the TLC approval of future ridesharing apps. Yahoo, AOL and eBay were among those signing the warning shot, which came from the Washington-based Internet Association.


PRIMER: The world’s largest retailer is testing an unlimited shipping service to compete with Amazon Prime. The Wal-Mart service will cost $50 a year and deliver items purchased online in three days or fewer.

FASTER NEWS: Facebook rolled out Instant Articles this week, content provided by the NYT, Buzzfeed and others, that loads 10 times faster than the normal 8-second wait. Because who has 8 seconds, right? The articles are hosted on Facebook’s servers, meaning publishers will become increasingly dependent on a platform they don’t control. Like we did with Google. The company line.

YOU’VE GOT MONEY: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong stands to net millions from the sale of his company to Verizon, in part because he used his own cash to buy $25M worth of shares, giving him a 6.7% stake. Add in stock awards and options, and the total tops $200M before taxes. Not bad for the guy who invented Patch.

SHACK SHEDS: Hedge fund Standard General won the auction for RadioShack’s trademarks, customer data and other intellectual property with a $26.2M winning bid. RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February after years of heavy competition from online and bricks-and-mortar rivals. Since then, the electronics retailer has sold 1,700 of its stores to Standard General, to be co-branded with Sprint, and will shutter the rest. BI

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NECK TIES REQUIRED: The NY Senate voted to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. Similar legislation is pending in the Assembly. If approved, New York would be the second state, after California, to allow pooches on restaurant patios. Under the proposed law, dogs will have to be leashed and restaurants would have to provide them separate entrances. CNY

I’LL HAVE A DOUBLE: Pedialyte, the popular oral electrolyte for ailing kids, has seen sales to adults double as grownups have figured out that what’s good for baby is also pretty darn good for a hangover. Market Watch

SOUNDS FAMILIAR: Workers are finishing up the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee which, when it goes on line, will provide electricity for about 650K homes. Construction started 36 years ago.

NEW REALITY: Television reality shows have lost their luster and are being dropped by streaming networks like Amazon, which just pulled the plug on Teen Mom and Mob Wives. Amazon also dropped a deal for Pawn Stars and Storage Wars in a move toward scripted shows, which have longer shelf life. Bloomberg

TUTORIALS RULE: YouTube users have consumed more than 100M hours of how-to videos this year, a 70% jump over last year, according to Google. 30% of millennials have made a purchase after watching an explainer video. Marketing Land

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Compiled by John L. Kominicki