No. 400: The big four-oh-oh! (Starring Hofstra’s cleverest, Stony Brook’s smartest and Old Westbury’s most creative)

...and counting: Thank you readers, sponsors and innovators.


That’s a lot of nuts! Welcome, dear friends, to a special anniversary edition of your Innovate Long Island newsletter.

Yes, this is our 400th edition (not counting our calendar newsletters, which we never got around to numbering), and yes, that’s lotsa nuts. It’s a big number and we’re proud of it. And we’ve had loads of fun creating these informative and entertaining roundups, just as founder John Kominicki did when he e-blasted the very first one back in 2015.

But we literally couldn’t do it without you, faithful readers. As eternally grateful as we are for our sponsors and the amazing innovators who share their work every week, we also tip our quadricentennial caps to you – and promise that if you keep reading (which keeps those sponsors sponsoring), we’ll keep writing. With that…

Welcome to Friday: And the end of another busy week of socioeconomic innovation.

It’s April 26 out there, and if you had Lorenzo de’Medici killing his brother during High Mass in Florence Cathedral on this date in 1478 – well, the Pazzi family still doesn’t like to talk about it, but molto bene for you. Collect 400 gold florins at the window.

What’s mine is mine: And what’s yours is yours, and that’s the gist of World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated every April 26 to “raise awareness of how patents, copyrights, trademarks and designs impact daily life,” according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Email in 1884? Yep – the New York Times reported on April 26, 1884, that the Post Office Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives was investigating “sending mails by electricity,” which “might speedily make the present volume of business seem infantile.”

Camera phones in 1880? Nope – but the photophone, publicly demonstrated on this date 139 years ago by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter, was a precursor of sorts to today’s mobile tech, transmitting speech on light beams.

Amazon in 1848? Kinda – Welsh botanist Alfred Wallace and English naturalist Henry Bates sailed from Liverpool on their famous Amazonian expedition on April 26, 1848, ultimately yielding a trove of evolutionary insights (Bates would spend 11 years up the river).

Before there was equality, there was innovation: This is also a red-letter date for black innovators, with a number of U.S. patents issued to African American inventors on April 26.

In 1882, W.B. Purvis patented his “Bag Fastener,” designed to seal sacks “without the use of cord or its equivalent”; in 1892, Sarah Boone patented her specialized “Ironing Board,” featuring curved sides for sleeves; and in 1899, J.H. Robinson earned his second patent in a month for his “Life Saving Guards for Street Cars” (following his “Life Saving Guards for Locomotives”).

Partly cloudy: It was this date in 1921 when the first weather reports were broadcasted over U.S. radio, with Missouri station WEW relaying federal government observations.

Panic at the disco: And it was April 26, 1977, when NYC’s renovated Studio 54 nightclub boogied into existence on West 54th Street.

Hi, society: French-American ornithologist John James Laforest Audubon (1785-1851), famous for his artwork depicting North American birds, was born on April 26.

So were early German arms merchant Alfred “Cannon King” Krupp (1812-1887); American landscape architect Frederick Olmsted (1822-1903), who designed Central Park; groundbreaking American anthropologist Erminnie Adele Smith (1836-1886), the first woman to specialize in ethnographic fieldwork; and American seismologist Charles Richter (1900-1985), who scaled to new heights.

So glad we had this time together: And take a bow, Carol Burnett – the American actress, comedian, singer and writer, whose television career spans seven decades, turns 86 today.


A few words from our sponsor: EisnerAmper is a leading international accounting, tax and advisory firm serving more than 500 technology and life-science clients. Our dedicated team of more than 125 professionals support startup companies, emerging growth, IPO-track and publicly traded clients.



Something gained: The votes are tallied and the winners of the 2019 Hofstra-Digital Remedy Challenge are enjoying their spoils.

The annual business-plan pitch-a-thon, which offers student solopreneurs and teams business-building mentorship via the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship, crowned its champions earlier this month. First place (and a $42,000 prize package combining cash and biz-development services from contest sponsor Digital Remedy) went to mechanical engineering student Elisabeth Paulina, who created Lynx, track spikes that help female sprinters maintain posture and enhance performance.

Second place ($21,000 package) went to organic eyebrow gel Brow Boost, created by entrepreneurship student Tania Speaks, while anti-addiction mobile technology Cress Health, by biology student Michael Lai, finished third ($8,500). Three of the 10 Hofstra-Digital Remedy finalists – including Speaks, Lai and a startup ice creamery by three Hofstra classmates – are slated to represent Hofstra in today’s final round of the annual New York State Business Plan Competition.

STAR turn: PSEG Long Island has been named a 2019 ENERGY STAR Partner, earning the Environmental Protection Agency nod for its efforts to lower customer energy usage and reduce its system-wide carbon footprint.

The EPA, which administers the federal government’s energy-efficiency program, highlighted nearly 1,500 Home Performance With ENERGY STAR projects among PSEG-LI’s 2018 accomplishments, along with multiple market-education efforts (including free home-energy assessments), the distribution of 300,000-plus certified LEDs through local food banks and a successful slate of of annual ENERGY STAR-certified lighting and appliance goals.

Bill Wehrum, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, applauded the 2019 ENERGY STAR Partners, noting “their innovation and leadership enhance America’s economic competitiveness.”



Industrial strength: A new analysis by regional stakeholders says the already mighty Hauppauge Industrial Park is bristling with economic potential.

Loud and clear: Stony Brook University’s annual Discovery Prize competition refined the communication skills of some of the university’s biggest thinkers.

Sights to behold: The spotlight will shine May 1 on a breadth of new media eye candy, when SUNY Old Westbury hosts its 12th Annual Student MAC Awards.



Plastic bags are going extinct, but internal combustion lives on.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From California: Irvine-based Esportz Entertainment Corp. introduces a universal e-sports news, entertainment and training platform.

From Ohio: Cleveland-based Brain Swaggle introduces a free mobile game that combines chess and Scrabble to sharpen vocabulary and thinking skills.

From California: On the hunt for ransomware and more, Fullerton-based Milton Security Group offers free trials of its real-time cyber threat-detection services.



+ Shalei Simms has been appointed director of graduate programs for SUNY Old Westbury’s School of Business. She will retain her role as an associate professor of management teaching business strategy and entrepreneurship.

+ Bethpage Federal Credit Union has elected two executives to its Board of Directors: Adam Silvers, managing partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and a member of the credit union’s Supervisory Committee, and Gregg Nevola, vice president and chief rewards officer for Northwell Health.

+ Nancy Malicki has been promoted to vice president at Syosset-based The LiRo Group. She previously served as associate vice president.

+ Robert Paterson has been hired as a sales representative at Melville-based Korg USA. He was formerly a teacher at The Music Factory School of Music in California.

+ New York State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) has been hired as counsel at Patchogue-based Egan & Golden. He previously was a partner at East Islip-based Steinberg & Boyle Law.

+ Christopher Zegers has been hired as director of consulting-legal at Hauppauge-based Ivionics. He previously served as chief information officer at Lowenstein Sandler in New Jersey.

+ Rick Reustle has been promoted to M&T Bank’s metro market manager for retail banking throughout Long Island, New York City, Westchester and Connecticut.

+ Burt Lurch has been elected president of the Massapequa-based Health and Business Alliance. He is CEO of New Hyde Park-based E Central Medical Management.



Speaking of 400: More than just the cardinal number between 399 and 401, “four hundred” often refers to a particular society’s aristocracy – the elite, so numbered to match the capacity of socialite Caroline Schermerhorn Astor’s 19th century New York ballroom.

See also: The New York City members-only luxury-living agency of the same numerical name.

And: Familiar faces fill Forbes’ list of the 400 Wealthiest Americans.

Here’s to the next 400: Help us get there by supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI, including EisnerAmper (yes, that’s still Steve Kreit’s firm).