No. 376: The mahatma, the pharmacist, and life in the home of the economically influential immigrant

Cube stake: An estimated 400 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold since the puzzle's international launch in 1980 … and it all started with a Hungarian patent request filed by inventor Erno Rubik on Jan. 30, 1975.


Middle class: It’s the third day of the week – fourth if you’re a Quaker – and whether you dig “Woden” or “Odin,” welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the midpoint of another exciting run of socioeconomic innovation.

It’s Jan. 30 out there, and before we dive in, welcome new newsletter subscribers Hannah, Jessica, Kenneth, Liu, Vivian, Tom, Edmon, Micki, Scott, Deanette, Justin and Raj. Goodness, they’re piling up fast these days! Enjoy the ride, hold your applause until the end, please.

’Tis the season: Today marks the beginning of the Season for Nonviolence, established 21 years ago by Arun Gandhi, Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, to celebrate the parallel lives and philosophies of his granddad and Martin Luther King Jr. The season begins on the anniversary of Mohandas’ Jan. 30, 1948, assassination and ends on April 4, the anniversary of King’s 1968 assassination.

Spanning the globe: Or at least the Menai Strait, as did the Menai Suspension Bridge, the world’s first modern suspension bridge, when it opened on this date in 1826 between the Isle of Anglesey and the northwest coast of Wales.

Literally spanning the globe: The Jules Verne classic “Around the World in 80 Days” was published in France on Jan. 30, 1873.

Pound for pound: The first air compressor-powered pneumatic hammer was patented on this date in 1894 by Michigan inventor Charles King.

In other Jan. 30 patent news, inventor Erno Rubik applied for a Hungarian patent for his “magic cube” on this date in 1975 (he got it).

Hi ho, Silver! Introducing new generations to the “March of the Swiss Soldiers” finale of Gioachino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” radio drama “The Lone Ranger” debuted Jan. 30, 1933.

For the record, debates about “hi ho” and “hi yo” Silver raged for decades and even went to court.

Move along: And the first “moving sidewalks” in an American airport sped things up inside Dallas’ Love Field terminal on this date in 1955 (warning: it doesn’t end well).

Four more terms: Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest-serving U.S. President, would be 137 years old today.

Scientist/innovator types born on Jan. 30 include oft-patented American inventor Oliver Edwards (1835-1904), Italian physicist and Nobel laureate Emilio Segrè (1905-1989, discovered two elements) and American computer scientist Douglas Engelbart (1925-2013, invented the computer mouse and, basically, the field of human-computer dynamics).

North, Ms. Teschmacher: And take a bow, Gene Hackman – the retired Oscar-winner turns 89 today.

Wish the all-time best Lex Luthor and the rest a happy birthday at We’ll take the presents – story tips and calendar items, please and thank you.


A few words from our sponsor: Northwell Health is New York’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 700 outpatient facilities and 68,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



Immigration consideration: The longest federal government shutdown in history is over, but immigration policy continues to shape the national debate. Against that polarizing backdrop, the latest WalletHub study takes a state-by-state look at the economic impact of immigrant workers – and determines that nowhere is their influence felt more strongly than in New York.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 20 key metrics, ranging from median household income of foreign-born populations to jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses. In addition to ranking New York No. 1 in overall immigrant economic influence, the study listed the Empire State No. 1 in percentage of foreign-born STEM workers (out of all regional STEM workers), percentage of jobs created by presence of international students (out of total jobs) and “Economic Contribution of International Students per Capita.”

The full report – which also ranks New York highly in percentage of jobs generated by immigrant-owned business (No. 7) and percentage of Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children (No. 8) – is available here.

‘Truth’ hurts: The latest Truth in Medicine Poll by South Nassau Communities Hospital finds that more than one-third of regional parents are unaware of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to vaccinate children against the potentially cancer-causing human papillomavirus.

Sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the poll focuses on HPV (previous South Nassau Truth in Medicine polls have eyed marijuana, screen time and other health issues) and was conducted by phone in November, querying 600 parents of children under 18 across New York City and Long Island. Among its findings: 36 percent of respondents were unaware of CDC recommendations that boys receive the HPV vaccine (available for boys and girls), 37 percent don’t plan to (or don’t know if they will) vaccinate their children and, of those, only 19 percent believe the HPV virus is dangerous.

Some 80 million men and women are currently infected with the HPV virus, which often resolves itself without presenting symptoms – but, in about 10 percent of cases, can linger, and even cause cervical cancer and other diseases.



Growing up on the pharm: Intelligent Product Solutions CEO Mitch Maiman, our 2019 Master of Innovation, shares how the old family pharmacy influences his cutting-edge shop.

(Don’t) come back real soon: Northwell Health hopes a new AI solution will reduce hospital readmissions and “preventable admissions” among its managed-care population.  

Old friends: The Brookhaven IDA and The Engel Burman Group are back in business, this time teaming up on a senior-living complex in Mount Sinai.



Co-working it out: Business-incubation specialist Phil Rugile on why Long Island stakeholders may have finally cracked the code of successful shared work environments.



The more you Knoll: How brilliant and influential designer Florence Knoll redefined architecture – and invented the modern office.

Women’s touch: Speaking of modern offices, the Associated Press dives into women-only workspaces inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Getting there: Forbes explains how understanding where you are on your personal innovation journey can help you get where you’re going.



+ Day Zero Diagnostics, a Massachusetts-based infectious-disease diagnostic company leveraging genome sequencing and machine learning, completed an $8.6 million Series A funding round led by Triventures, with participation from Sands Capital Ventures and Golden Seeds.

+ RealBlocks, a New York City-based, blockchain-powered real estate tech platform, closed a $3.1 million seed funding round led by Science Inc., with participation from Morgan Creek Digital, Zelkova Ventures, Ulu Ventures and Cross Culture Ventures.

+ Vangst, a Colorado- and California-based human-capital resource platform for the legal cannabis industry, closed a $10 million Series A financing round led by Casa Verde Capital, with participation from Lerer Hippeau, among others.

+ AdvicePay, a Montana-based fee-payment-processing platform designed exclusively for financial advisors, raised an extension seed funding of $2 million. The round was crowdfunded from within the advisor community.

+ Modulated Imaging, a California-based provider of optical imaging solutions for noninvasive assessment of tissue health, raised $7 million in Series B funding led by Pangaea Ventures, with participation from Fresenius Medical Care Ventures, Grey Sky Venture Partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd and Fouse KK.

+ Goods Unite Us, a Wisconsin-based, women-led app and website sharing the politics of over 4,000 brands and companies, closed a $500,000 seed-funding round led by MaSa Partners, Mark Bakken and Humble Rogue Ventures, with several accredited angel investors also contributing.



All beef: From StartupNation, 10 must-read books to beef up your entrepreneurism.

Special sauce: From Entrepreneur, nine new habits that will spice up your life.

And a sesame seed bun: Sesame and other seeds play huge as McCormick’s annual “flavor forecast” goes high-tech.

Great taste: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, where the Northwell Center for Learning & Innovation is always cooking up new patient experiences.