No. 415: On Cheerios, Stooges, smarter schools and ignored internships – plus, action in Innovation Park 

Drag queen: First Lady of Drag Racing Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney -- the first woman licensed to drive a Top Fuel dragster by the National Hot Rod Association -- turns 79 today.


Sunny disposition: Welcome to Wednesday, dear readers, and the final Innovate LI newsletter of Spring 2019.

That’s correct – whatever soggy gloom the Weather Channel predicts, summer officially begins Friday. And of course, the innovation forecast is always warm and bright in here.

Tree’s company: The environment wins in Palawan’s conservation-minded Feast of the Forest.

Pista Y ang Kagueban: It’s June 19 out there, and before we dive in, welcome new newsletter subscribers Frank, James, Leslie, Robert, Philip, Naraj, Thomas, Peter, Rachel, Glenn, Nina, Sarah, Louis and Marc. To those of you in the Philippines Province of Palawan, a peaceful and prosperous Feast of the Forest.

Here in the States, today is also known as Juneteenth, commemorating the June 19, 1865, abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African Americans throughout the former Confederate States.

Rise of the Bobbies: Two-time UK Prime Minister and “father of modern British policing” Sir Robert Peel introduced the Metropolitan Police Act to Parliament on this date in 1829, establishing London’s first unified police force.

And, they’re off! Now a Grade I stakes race and Triple Crown jewel run every year at Belmont Park, the very first Belmont Stakes – financed by namesake August Belmont Sr. – was run on June 19, 1867, at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx.

At the wire, it was Ruthless – the only filly in the four-horse race – by a nose.

ABCs of the FCC: Happy anniversary to the Federal Communications Commission, established by Congress on June 19, 1934, to expand upon the outdated Federal Radio Commission.

O, baby.

Three cheers: Classic breakfast cereal Cheerios was created on this date in 1941 by food scientist Lester Borchardt.

For the record, Borchardt’s invention was named “Cheerioats,” Honey Nut Cheerios didn’t debut until 1979 and there are now 15 varieties of Cheerios, including “limited edition” flavors.

First human woman: Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova returned to Earth on June 19, 1963, after becoming the first woman in space.

…and counting: And it was one year ago today – June 19, 2018 – when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000, for Raytheon Corp.’s “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection.”

Blaise of glory: Speaking of counting, French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and child prodigy Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) – who invented the digital calculator, devised Pascal’s law of pressure (big in hydrodynamics) and laid the foundation for modern probability theories, all in just 39 years of life – would be 396 years old today.

Also born on June 19 were Freidrich Sertürner (1783-1841), the German chemist who discovered morphine; original Stooge Moe Howard (1897-1975, born Moses Horowitz); baseball legend and disease namesake Lou Gehrig (1903-1941); electrical engineer, Novell founder and “father of computer networking” Raymond Noorda (1924-2006); and gender barrier-busting American drag racer Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney (born 1940).

Straight up: And take a bow, Paula Abdul – the American singer, songwriter, choreographer and former “American Idol” judge turns 57 today.

Wish them all well at We’ll take the presents – story tips and calendar items, all sizes, please and thank you.


About our sponsor: Northwell Health is NY’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 700 outpatient facilities and 68,000-plus employees. We’re making research breakthroughs at the Feinstein Institute and training the next generation of medical professionals at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. Visit



Park place: The renamed Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge is ready for action.

Park drive: A new task force formed by the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island will “implement a multifaceted action plan” to maximize the long-term economic output of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge, formerly known as Hauppauge Industrial Park.

The re-branded industrial park – which already boasts 55,000 employees and a $13 billion annual economic output, according to the HIA-LI – was the subject of a 160-page “opportunity analysis” recently completed by the Suffolk County IDA and the Regional Plan Association. According to the analysis, which was led by New York City-based planning firm Lima Planning + Development, the 11-square-mile park has barely begun to scratch its economic potential.

Hence the new task force, which will enact numerous recommendations included in the opportunity analysis. Task force members include HIA-LI CEO Terri Alessi-Micelli and Board Chairman Joe Campolo, also managing partner of Campolo, Middleton & McCormick; TRITEC Real Estate Principal Jim Coughlan; BNB Bank President and CEO Kevin O’Connor; and a host of other regional business and finance leaders.

Healthy start: Self-billed as a national first-of-its-kind STEM/health science competition for high schoolers, a regional contest sponsored by a decades-old private neurosurgical group has selected its first batch of big-brained champions.

The 2019 NSPC Health Science Competition, held at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts and sponsored by circa-1958, Freeport-based Neurological Surgery P.C., attracted 300-plus students from 38 Nassau and Suffolk county high schools, competing for $80,000 in awards in five categories. First-place winners, each earning $5,500 prizes, included Christopher Lu of John L. Miller Great Neck North High School (Bioengineering and Computational Biology), Feyi Rufai of Roslyn High School (Behavioral Sciences), Michael Lawes of Elmont Memorial High School (Biology/Microbiology/Genetics), Jason Sitt of Lynbrook Senior High School (Health Related Biochemistry & Physics) and Alessi Demir of Manhasset High School (Biology/ Medicine/Health).

Encouraging youngsters to present health-focused, self-designed projects to judges with real medical-science expertise “brings out the best in our students,” noted Ray Ann Havasy, executive director of Rockville Centre’s Center for Science, Teaching & Learning. “This program is about the students and motivating them to embrace science and technology for their education and careers.”



That smarts: Albany’s Smart Schools program has spread another $50 million in school-tech funding around the state, including a chunky investment for Sachem schools.

Very profitable: Adelphi University is focusing a unique student-internship effort on an “often ignored,” and perpetually thriving, regional employment sector.

On track: A new paper published in a peer-reviewed journal gives serious scientific credibility to the idea of using Applied DNA molecular tech to track legitimate drugs.



Make, or break: Long Island should pay closer attention to national “placemaking” trends, says business-incubation expert Phil Rugile, who sees opportunity in smarter work/life balances.



Game of groans: Three times the charm at Jake’s 58?

Rolling the dice: Newsday doubles down on two state legislators and their 11th-hour gamble at Suffolk County’s Jake’s 58 casino.

Taking his chances: From Inc., an ambitious airline entrepreneur – twice fired from high-profile C-suites – is still showing some Moxy.

Playing the odds: The Libertarian Republic breaks down three key trends set to reshape the gambling industry.



+ NeedsList, a North Carolina-based online, global, real-time needs registry for disaster-relief and humanitarian purposes, closed a $1 million funding round. Backers included Amplio Ventures and Marigold Capital, the Omidyar Network, Next Wave Impact, Silicon Valley Social Ventures and the Kuo Sharper Fund.

+ CredSimple, a New York City-based healthcare credential-verification company, closed a $14 million Series B financing round led by Questa Capital, with participation from existing investors Windham Venture Partners and Primary Ventures.

+ Purigen Biosystems, a California-based provider of next-generation technologies for extracting, enriching and quantifying nucleic acids from biological samples, closed a $26.4 million Series B financing round led by Agilent Technologies, investor Cota Capital, 5AM Ventures and Roche Venture Fund.

+ Vestaron, a Michigan-based company improving the safety and sustainability of crop protection through peptide-based biopesticides, raised $40 million in Series B financing led by Novo Holdings A/S, Anterra Capital, Cultivian Sandbox, Open Prairie Ventures and Pangaea Ventures.

+ Atlazo, a California-based maker of system-on-chip technology for the wearable healthcare and Internet of Things markets, raised $3.4 million in seed financing led by Tech Coast Angels.

+ ChartSpan, a South Carolina-based healthcare managed-service provider for chronic-care management programs, raised a $15 million Series A funding round led by BIP Capital, with participation from Blue Heron Capital, Bailey Southwell & Co., C&B Capital and Service Provider Capital.



Fun for all: Something for everyone in NYS, according to WalletHub.

Fun: New York is top of the list (third, at least) as WalletHub ranks America’s Most Fun States.

Fair: Why balanced data privacy laws are key to innovation, according to Forbes.

Phishy: Wired warns about phishing scams swimming in your Google calendar.

Fantastic: Please continue supporting the amazing institutions that support Innovate LI, including Northwell Health, where the Northwell Center for Learning & Innovation keeps health system employees on patient care’s cutting edge.