No 393: Cuomo’s big budget, Wei Yin’s smarter entrepreneurs and the prototypically helpful MTRC

Que sera, sera: Award-winning actress, singer and animal-welfare activist Doris Day -- who won America's hearts with her melodic singing voice and deft comedic timing -- turns 97 today.


Welcome to the show: Hello and happy Wednesday to you, dear reader, as we speed toward the back nine of another busy workweek.

Welcome especially new newsletter subscribers Ron, Mindy, Lauren, David, Nicholas, Christine, Dianne, Liz and Connie. Lace up, kids – you join us on National Walking Day, the American Heart Association’s first-Wednesday-of-April reminder to stretch those limbs once in a while.

A.K.A. “Think Twice Day”: April 3 is also National Don’t Go To Work Unless It’s Fun Day, which dubiously advises participants to call out if they sense a busy or tough shift ahead. Sounds dicey, that one.

Pony up: The Pony Express debuted on April 3, 1860, setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery – just 10 days to get an envelope from Missouri to California.

Guiding light: Media-mushing weekly American print magazine TV Guide debuted on this date in 1953, with Lucille Ball and baby Desi Arnaz Jr. on the cover.

Sixty-six years and several permutations later, the now bi-weekly magazine – simply “The Guide,” as per certain devotees – is still dishing on the small screen.

Red moon: The Soviet Union’s Luna 10 probe, the first human spacecraft to circle the moon, completed its first lunar orbit on April 3, 1966.

Close shave: American inventor Francis Dorion patented the twin-blade razor – specifically, his “dual razor blade assembly” – on this date in 1973.

Function over form: And the first mobile telephone call was made on that same date – April 3, 1973 – when Motorola employee Martin Cooper, regarded “the father of the mobile phone,” called Bell Labs’ New Jersey headquarters from a Manhattan street.

In case you think your new $800 10th-generation super-advanced whatsit isn’t sleek enough, consider that Cooper’s DynaTAC 8000X prototype looked like this.

Head count: “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” author Washington Irving (1783-1859) would be 236 years old today.

Also born on April 3 were corrupt politician and legendary fraudster William “Boss” Tweed (1823-1878), groundbreaking Russian botanist Katherine Esau (1898-1997), American magazine magnate Henry Luce (1898-1967, founded Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and others), screen legend Doris Day (born 1922, still kicking) and Mercury astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom (1926-1967).

Monkey business: And take a bow, Jane Goodall – the legendary English primatologist (and former Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall) turns 85 today.

Wait, back up … Doris Day is still alive? Wow! You really must wish her a happy birthday at Of course, she’d want you to drop off a story tip or calendar item, please and thank you.


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It’s your dime: Governor Andrew Cuomo and his legislative allies officially announced an agreement this week on the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, a $102.1 billion plan that holds Albany’s spending growth at 2 percent for the ninth consecutive year and makes permanent one of the governor’s crowning legislative achievements.

Trumpeting “several landmark policies that will bring sweeping transformation” to the Empire State, Cuomo’s office framed the budget as a masterwork of social reform, topped by the permanent adoption of a cap on statewide property-tax increases. Since its 2012 introduction, the 2-percent cap has saved ratepayers some $25 billion, according to the governor, who considered its permanent adoption one of three immovable pillars of his 2020 budget demands, alongside criminal justice reform and a Metropolitan Transit Authority overhaul.

The budget, which also increases statewide school spending 3.8 percent (to $27.9 billion) and Medicaid/healthcare spending 3.6 percent (to $19.6 billion), had to “be done right,” according to Cuomo, “meaning it must be fiscally responsible and protect New York from the federal government’s ongoing economic assault on our state. I am proud to announce that together, we got it done.”



Intelligent design: MIDI Medical Product Development pitches in as Stony Brook University’s innovative biomedical design course creates smarter med-tech entrepreneurs.

That was fast: The state’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership has cut the ribbon on a new rapid-prototyping facility for Long Island makers needing a commercialization boost.

Consortium cash: An international, New York-based clean-energy alliance is offering $7 million in funding for research projects developing innovative offshore-wind tech.



Voices columnist and K-12 education expert Harry Aurora shares his thinking on distance-learning technologies and how they can benefit both rural students and their communities.



Profit schmofit: Forbes reveals that the top education innovations aren’t backed by investors or governments, but non-profit organizations.

Rock on: Forget calm classical or smooth jazz – Quartz explains why heavy metal is the musical genre for geniuses.

Darkening skies: Newsday reports on troubling times for would-be Calverton developer Luminati Aerospace.



+ Ellevest, a New York City-based digital-investment platform for women, closed a $33 million funding round led by Rethink Impact and PSP Growth, with participation from new investors Pivotal Ventures, PayPal, Wynn Resorts co-founder Elaine Wynn, former Google and Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Valerie Jarratt, Gingerbread Capital and Mastercard, among others.

+ SpringWorks Therapeutics, a Connecticut-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating patients with severe rare diseases and cancer, closed a $125 million Series B financing round led by Perceptive Advisors, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, HBM Healthcare Investments, BVF Partners and Surveyor Capital, among others.

+ Fifth Eye, a Michigan-based medical-device software company building clinical early-warning systems for hospitals, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding led by Arboretum Ventures and Cultivation Capital, with participation from MINTS, Invest Michigan and 35 private angel investors.

+ Artiphon, a Tennessee-based music-creation startup for the next generation of digital musicians, raised $2 million in seed funding led by Warner Music Group, which joined a group of Nashville-based angels.

+ Revvo (formerly known as IntelliTire), a California-based startup that offers an Internet of Things-enabled smart sensor for vehicle tires, raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Vulcan Capital and AngelList.

+ OncoLens, a Georgia-based technology company serving cancer-care programs, closed a $1.35 million seed funding round. BIP Capital and Atlanta Technology Angels led the round.



For your company: Missouri Business shares operational tidying tips for businesses of all sizes.

For your tech: Asurion helps you declutter your devices.

For you: Can clearing your mind really improve your health? Time meditates.

Gentle reminder: Please continue to support the great institutions that support Innovate Long Island, including NYIT, where education and innovation always make a neat pair.