No. 386: Hofstra in the minority, septuagenarians in bed and Gilbert in the weeds, again (plus: The Dude abides)

Dudeist Priest: Jeff Lebowski, immortalized by Jeff Bridges in “The Big Lebowski,” delivers unto us the Day of the Dude, this and every March 6.


Wednesday welcome: You’ve reached the midpoint of another exciting week of inventions, investments and bold business development. Well done, intrepid reader!

It’s March 6 out there, and before we dive in, welcome new newsletter subscribers Lily, Brian, Samantha, Caleb, Brandon, Frank, Alyssa, Ellen, Javier, Melissa, Martez and Joshua. Please make sure your snacks are peanut-free, and enjoy the show.

Sometimes there’s a man: Our new friends join us on a special day for the virtuous. This March 6 marks the sixth-annual European Day of the Righteous, a continent-wide celebration of international heroes who’ve opposed human-rights violations.

And in the States, today is the ninth-annual Day of the Dude, the holiest of observances for followers of Dudeism. Self-billed as “the slowest-growing religion in the world,” Dudeism is based loosely on the chill teachings of Jeff Bridges’ immortal character from the Cohen Brothers’ classic “The Big Lebowski.” (Among the perks for believers: An honorary degree from Abide University).

Lent you a hand: Speaking of religions, it’s Ash Wednesday.

Remember the Alamo: And recall that, after 13 days of fighting, Davey Crockett and friends were finally overrun by Mexican soldiers at San Antonio’s Alamo Mission on this date in 1836.

Bringing Russia to the table: Or vice-versa, as chemist Dmitri Mendeleev presented the very first periodic table of the elements to the Russian Chemical Society on March 6, 1869.

Pill protection: The German pharmaceutical firm Bayer received a U.S. patent for acetylsalicylic acid (a.k.a. “aspirin”) on this date in 1899.

Other U.S. patents issued on March 6 include one in 1945 for Iowa inventor George Nissen and his “modern trampoline.”

That’s the way it was: And the late, great newsman Walter Cronkite signed off as anchorman of the “CBS Evening News” for the last time on March 6, 1981.

That’s actually kind of dark: Michelangelo (1475-1564, born Michelangelo Buonarroti) – remembered for his artwork, architecture and numerous cadaver dissections, through which he tried to better understand the physiologies of saints and sinners – was born on March 6.

So were prominently proboscised French writer/duelist Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655); English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1961); English astronomer Marge Adam (1912-2001), who saw right through sunspots; American chemist Harry Coover (1917-2011), who invented Super Glue; and American cartoonist Will Eisner (1917-2005), a pioneer of comic book art.

Many more, comrade: And take a bow, retired Russian engineer Valentina Tereshkova – the first woman to fly in space turns 82 today.

Wish the cosmonaut, the inventor of the “graphic novel” and the rest well at We’ll take the birthday presents, please and thank you – story tips and calendar suggestions, all sizes.

Speaking of occasions: Our big annual shindig, the 2019 Innovator of the Year Awards, is now just three weeks away!

Join us March 26 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury as we salute Master of Innovation Mitch Maiman, president of Hauppauge-based Intelligent Product Solutions, and dozens of Long Island’s most impressive inventors, entrepreneurs, researchers and executives. The complete list of our 2019 awardees is available here; sponsorship and registration info right here.


About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting-edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.



Exact change: Congratulations to old friend Jonathan Gilbert, an oft-featured Innovate LI favorite recently appointed executive chairman of Exactus Inc., a Virginia-based healthcare company pursuing opportunities in hemp-derived cannabidiol products and point-of-care diagnostics.

Gilbert, a Great Neck-based investment banker, is the husband of diet/nutrition guru Keren Gilbert (multimedia star and president of Decision Nutrition). But he’s best known to Innovate LI readers as the founder of Scythian Biosciences, a New York City- and Toronto-based biotech that was working on the world’s first pharmaceutical treatment for concussions.

Scythian Biosciences has since been transformed into Sol Global Investments, parent of “international hemp company” Heavenly Rx, which is still in pursuit of a cannabinoid-based concussion drug. In announcing Gilbert’s appointment, Exactus referenced his handling of Scythian’s growth, IPO and transformation – “experiences in the public markets, and the CBD sector in particular, (that) will enhance Exactus’ ability to navigate the capital markets effectively and determine our future direction,” according to CEO Phillip Young.

Water world: A technology straight out of “Star Wars” and a fresh Fundable campaign could drown the world’s drinking-water crisis.

New York City-based The United Abrahamic Family Inc. – which promotes economic cooperation and understanding between global professionals and visionaries, with an eye on Earth’s most pressing problems – announced Tuesday the launch of a capital campaign to fund an “atmospheric water-generation factory” capable of producing 20,000 liters of drinking water daily, and shipping it to thirsty communities around the world.

The tech is akin to Luke Skywalker’s “moisture vaporator,” which also drew humidity from the air and turned it into potable water. And the need is critical, according to TUAFI founder Joseph Aoun, who noted “the world’s demand for water is expected to grow exponentially by 2050.” More on the crowdfunding effort right here.



Up and running: With Ascend Long Island, Hofstra University and its corporate partners are bringing new resources and opportunities to minority small-business owners.

Bouncing boys: Seventy is the new 50 for two Long Island entrepreneurs out to corner the doctor-approved, chemical-free bed-in-a-box market, which they basically invented.

Terror’s long reach: Eighteen years later, 9/11 first responders are still facing life-and-death challenges – including a possible link between PTSD and dementia.



There are many intriguing options for the homebound student, notes K-12 education expert Harry Aurora, but teachers shouldn’t be the only ones asking questions – particularly when it comes to ensuring student needs are properly met.



Cautionary tale: Forbes shares why your CTO must separate the truly disruptive from the merely distracting, and otherwise innovate with care.

Short flight: Newsday notes why Lufthansa is relocating its Americas headquarters from East Meadow to Uniondale.

Long haul: Quartz explains why, 55 years later, David Ogilvy’s “Confessions of an Advertising Man” is still essential reading.



+ Remix, a California-based cloud platform designed to help cities plan, view and manage transportation, raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Energy Impact Partners, with participation from Sequoia Capital.

+ MacuLogix., a Pennsylvania-based Maker of diagnostic tools for patients with age-related macular degeneration, completed a $38.7 million Series D financing round led by Vivo Capital, Fisk Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, Berwind Private Equity and Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania.

+ Socure, a New York City-based provider of identity-verification and fraud-prevention services, raised $30 million in Series C funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Commerce Ventures, Flint Capital, Two Sigma Ventures and Synchrony, along with new investor Sorenson Capital.

+ StemoniX, a Minnesota-based biotech company, secured $14.4 million in Series B funding led by Brightstone Venture Capital, with participation from Crescent Ridge Partners and SEED San Diego, Alumni Ventures Group, Keshif Ventures and the Mayo Clinic.

+ Axial Biotherapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company building a unique class of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric programs, completed a $25 million Series B equity financing led by Seventure Partners, along with Longwood Fund, Domain Associates and Heritage Medical Systems.

+ FreightWaves, a Tennessee-based provider of data for global freight markets, raised $20 million in Series B financing led by 8VC, with participation from Fontinalis Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Ascend Venture Capital, Story Ventures, Engage Ventures and Kelvin Beachum.



Eternal life: How being a mentor can keep you alive in the memories of others.

Internal strife: Do we give to charity because we’re altruistic … or is it something less noble?

Nocturnal rife: How Arizona’s largest utility will spread sunlight at night.

Gentle reminder: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including SUNY Old Westbury, one of only four New York colleges offering a master’s degree in forensic accounting.