No. 40: Trustpilot, more drones and a very pricey pinot

PINOT, A FILM NOIR: Thieves have been busting into the wine cellars of Michelin-starred California eateries and making off with some of the world’s most-select vintages, including $25K botttles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, one of the most prized pinots ever bottled. They leave the rest. Could it be robbery for hire? Bloomberg’s Claire Suddath.

KRIMINAL ACT: Dutch and German detectives resorted to their own trickery to track down a pair of bronze horses commissioned for Adolf Hitler and missing since reunification. And found a whole bunch of other works. With help from a mysterious Texan named Moss. Der Spiegel

TOO BIG TO LOSE: Feinstein Center chief Kevin Tracey is out raising $400M for a giant bioelectric medicine center at which researchers will advance drug-free treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s Disease and maybe even epilepsy. Big stuff, but Long Island needs to rally to make sure it gets built here. Innovate LI

PINT-SIZED TRANSPORT: Long Island’s bustling but far-flung microbrew scene presents a problem for those who partake responsibly. LI Brew Bus partners Brad Darrohn and John Monderine have the answer.  Their hops on, hops off transit service starts next week.

THIS WILL GIVE YOU CHILLS: Remember the Montreal Protocol? OK, you probably don’t. We didn’t. With it, participating nations – and there were a lot of them – agreed to stop using environmentally uncool freon as a refrigerant by 2020. Now, Bay Shore’s Priority Cool is poised to cash in on a potential $10 trillion market. It doesn’t get much hotter than this.

BRIGHT MOVE: Leviton has acquired Anaheim LED maker Intense Lighting, no financial details disclosed. The firm will stay in California with current president Kenny Eidsvold reporting to Leviton COO Daryoush Larizadeh. LIBN’s David Winzelberg

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Economic development is all politics and politics is all about the Benjamins. Rep. Lee Zeldin in the weekly Debrief

Brookhaven National Lab scientists are developing nanomaterials that self-assemble into all sorts of interesting things.

Start-Up NY squeaked out a passing grade in a new Siena poll.

Educational experts worry the new fascination with STEM is dumbing down creative thinking.

CA Technologies, which was built on acquisitions, is back at it with a $480M deal to buy a Boulder agile software developer.

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Kevin Law keynotes the group’s Brookhaven luncheon on June 19. For more information, or to attend, visit


BUFFALO ROAMS: The University at Buffalo announced $25M in funding for broad initiatives in energy, health, sustainable manufacturing/robotics and GEM, also known as the Genome, the Environment and the Microbiome. BBF

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: On-demand delivery apps like Munchery (meals) and Drizly (booze) have found a thriving market in NYC, where a densely populated market has an appetite for convenience and no place to park. New York Biz Journal

BIT OF COMPETITION: NYC’s recent moves to make Wall Street the center of the bitcoin universe received a comeuppance this week from New Jersey, where an aggressive economic development plan seeks to steal the show for the Garden State.NYBJ

TRY THE DANISH: Denmark’s Trustpilot has raised $73.5M with plans to assertively grow its U.S. presence, including doubling its NYC headcount to 200. The company, a kind of Zagat for business, offers reviews and analytics to help companies improve their customer comments. CNY

SPORTING ADVANTAGE: Technological advances are helping pirates steal premium sports programming from the big guys in what may be a billion-dollar problem. So far, major league sports execs have been content to play whack-a-mole. Crain’sAaron Elstein.

SKY’S THE LIMIT: Commercial drone makers are expected to ship 4.3M units in 2015, a year-over-year increase of 167 percent. And the United States makes up only 35 percent of the market so far. But, with waning regulation, look for big increases in agriculture, mining, construction and power grid and pipeline inspections. More than 400 U.S. companies are now licensed for drone operation. Page 81 of this authoritative KPCB report.

Speaking of drones, GoPro, the company that made its name strapping cameras onto adventurer’s helmets, will unveil a shutter-equipped quad-chopper next spring. It’s also working on virtual reality products. Fortune

Also, VC firm Accel Partners has teamed with Chinese drone maker DJI on a $10M investment pool called SkyFund that will take $250K stakes in aerial startups. NYT subscribers can read more here.

JUST BROWSING, THANKS: Google announced that its Chrome browser now has a billion active users, joining Google Search, YouTube and Google Maps in the 1B+ club. The company laggard: Gmail, with a paltry 900M.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Most are archived here.


FASHIONING A PRESIDENCY: Hillary Clinton is looking to offset some of the projected $1B she’ll need for next year’s POTUS run by selling an assortment of Hil-wear, including a Tee that resembles the top of one of her ubiquitous pant suits. And let’s not forget the “A Woman’s Place is in the White House” throw pillows.

Less fashionably, DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk presiding officer and candidate for Rep. Peter King’s seat, is using left-leaning ActBlue Express software for his campaign fundraising. Not for profit ActBlue has raised almost $750M for liberal candidates over the last 10 years at a 3.95 percent commission rate.

Not sure what George Pataki is using, but at 69, and nine years out of office, he’s running.


HOLE LOTTA GOODNESS: Dunkin’ Donuts will begin selling Chips Ahoy doughnuts filled with cookie dough-flavored buttercream on June 1 in a move to build afternoon traffic. Also coming: Filled croissant doughnuts.

THIS CAN’T BE: Bob Dylan turned 74 this week. Which means Judy Collins is 76. To everything there actually is a season.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.