No. 401: Manufacturing optimism, planning to win and crusading in capes – plus, the importance of summer schooling 

Manhattan marvel: The 102-story Empire State Building -- one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a National Historic Landmark as of 1986 -- officially opened on this date 88 years ago.


May day! Don’t panic, dear readers – it’s merely the first of May and the midpoint of another busy week of socioeconomic innovation (being Wednesday and all).

For the record, with a long (and sometimes dark) history extending back thousands of years, May Day is not all maypoles and pies.

Let freedom ring: Here in the 21st Century, May 1 marks Armed Forces Day in Mauritania and Constitution Day in both Argentina and Latvia.

Speaking of constitutions, today also marks Law Day here in the States, an annual celebration of free speech, free press and importance of law in the formation of a free society.

Look, up in the sky: Just two years before it would star opposite a colossal ape in its first Hollywood blockbuster, the Empire State Building – then the world’s tallest – opened on May 1, 1931.

Batman begins: Two years before Captain America and two decades before Spider-Man, the Caped Crusader swung into action, debuting in Detective Comics No. 27 on this date in 1939.

Blips: It’s a red-letter date for radar. On May 1, 1946, the first radar system on an American commercial ship made the maiden voyage of the S.S. African Star a little safer.

The first radar for commercial planes was demonstrated one year later to the day, on a TWA flight out of Culver City, Calif.

BASICally: And on May 1, 1964, the first Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code computer program was written by Dartmouth University professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz.

Bill Gates and friends would adopt BASIC for personal computers beginning in 1975.

Do your homework: Theophrastus Phillipus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim – a German-Swiss alchemist who went by the stage name Paracelsus and eschewed medical knowledge not gained through observation and experience – would be 526 years old today.

Also born on May 1 were Scientific American founding publisher Rufus Porter (1792-1884); early 20th Century  U.S. labor leader Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (1830-1930); American frontierswoman Martha “Calamity” Jane Canary (1852-1903); Malcolm Scott Carpenter (1925-2013), the second Mercury astronaut to orbit the Earth; and American film auteur Wes Anderson (born 1969).

Who you gonna call? And take a bow, Ray Parker Jr. – the singer and producer, best known for the iconic theme song to 1984 megahit “Ghostbusters,” turns 65 today.

Wish the May Day gang a collective happy birthday at … and we ain’t afraid of no story tips, so keep them coming, please and thank you.


A few words from our sponsor: Farrell Fritz, a full-service law firm with 15 practice groups, advises startups on entity formation, founder and shareholder agreements, funding, executive compensation and benefits, licensing and technology transfer, mergers and acquisitions and other strategic transactions. The firm’s blog, New York Venture Hub, discusses legal and business issues facing entrepreneurs and investors.



Mapping it out: The State University of New York system has teamed with Albany’s various energy agencies to create the Clean Energy Roadmap, a master statewide campus-facilities plan designed to achieve the “shared sustainability vision” of SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

By uniting SUNY’s big brains with the New York Power Authority, the New York State Research and Development Authority, the Department of Public Service and the Long Island Power Authority, the roadmap focuses on renewable sources of electric power as a means of increasing energy efficiency and combating “climate catastrophe,” according to a joint statement from the multiple partners.

Specifically, the roadmap outlines six clean-energy goals, including sourcing all campus electricity from renewable sources and storage systems; a 40-percent reduction of campus greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) by 2030; and “deep-energy retrofits” for existing buildings. All told, the plan is “a blueprint for creating a clean, intelligent and distributed energy ecosystem across all 64 SUNY campuses,” Johnson said Tuesday.

FREE spirit: Old Bethpage-based Family Residences and Essential Enterprises – which supports more than 4,000 regional individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury – is seeking exhibitors for its annual Talent Connection Job Expo.

Talent Connection – presented in partnership with Bethpage-based Adults & Children with Learning & Developmental Disabilities, Garden City-based Life’s WORC, Oakdale-based Skills Unlimited and The Rehabilitation Institute of Westbury – is the largest regional job expo of its kind, according to FREE, designed to offer men and women with disabilities an opportunity to discuss their skills and abilities with recruiters representing “key Long Island business.”

The expo is scheduled for June 7 at Farmingdale State College’s Roosevelt Hall. Exhibitor registration is free. Contact FREE Public Relations Director Patrice Radowitz at (516) 870-1621 or, or click here for more information.



Loaded index: Purolator International’s latest Long Island Supply Chain Index is chock full of good news from regional manufacturers.

Best laid plans: Long Island collegians – including big winners from Farmingdale State College and Stony Brook University – shined in the annual New York Business Plan Competition.

Bank shot: Chief Executive Joseph Ficalora predicts a bottom-line bounce at New York Community Bancorp, where revenues are down but confidence is up.



Summer schooled: Online tutoring and some good old-fashioned page-turners are two good choices for keeping students academically engaged over the summer break, notes resident K-12 education expert Harry Aurora.



Feeling sick: Inc.’s Entrepreneurship Index takes the pulse of the booming startup economy, and finds it’s actually in a steady decline.

Getting worse: From Inverse, how skipping breakfast is putting the human population in grave danger.

Back from the dead: Bipartisan efforts to combat climate change through technological innovation live again in the U.S. Senate, according to the American Institute of Physics.



+ Vital, a Georgia-based provider of AI-powered software for hospital emergency rooms, secured $5.2 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital and DFJ, with participation from Bragiel Brothers, Meridian Street Capital, Refactor Capital and SV Angel, among others.

+ Perceivant, an Indiana-based education technology company that replaces traditional textbooks with interactive and data-driven learning experiences, secured more than $590,000 in funding. Backers included Elevate Ventures, Bootstrap Ventures and Gravity Ventures.

+ Labster, a Massachusetts-based producer of virtual laboratory simulations, raised $21 million in Series B funding led by Owl Ventures, Balderton Capital, Northzone, Swisscom Ventures, Nordic Makers, David Helgason, EduCapital and Entangled Group.

+ Magic Leap, a Florida-based augmented-reality company, raised $280 million in funding. Ntt Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile operator, made the investment.

+ Sirnaomics, a Maryland-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of RNAi therapeutics against cancer and fibrotic diseases, raised a $22 million Series C2 financing led by CR-CP Life Sciences Fund, Rich Yield Capital from Shanghai, Rolling Boulder Investment from Shenzhen and Legend Sky Investment.

+ Loon, a California-based company that uses unmanned aerial systems and balloons to bring Internet connectivity to remote areas, raised $125 million in funding. HAPSMobile, a joint venture between SoftBank and AeroVironment, made the investment.



Computes: Adelphi University has teamed with Brookhaven National Laboratory on a scientific computing minor that preps undergrads for large-scale data analysis.

Does not compute: Celebrate BASIC’s birthday with TechRepublic, which breaks down the worst programming languages of 2019.

Computing conundrum: Why Oracle v. Google may force the U.S. Supreme Court to lock down the building blocks of basic computer programming.

E for excellent: Please continue supporting the great firms that support Innovate LI, including Farrell Fritz, where the expert e-Discovery Practice Group covers all aspects of electronic discovery, information governance and cybersecurity.