Shift change: Push that lever, dear readers, as we reach the fulcrum point and gear up for the latter half of this latest busy workweek.
Apples and overlords: It’s Wednesday, March 11 – Moshoeshoe Day in Lesotho (celebrating the birthdate of the mountaintop African nation’s founding father) and National Johnny Appleseed Day in the United States (which doesn’t mark pioneering agriculturist John Chapman’s birthday, but the start of planting season).
That’s a print: Paper became a thing on this date in 105 A.D.
That’s when inventor Lun Tsai showed his creation – a pulp of bamboo fibers and mulberry bark, stretched over a bamboo frame – to Chinese Emperor Han Ho Ti, two centuries before paper was officially introduced around the world.
Patent troll: Speaking of industrious innovators, Philadelphia tinkerer Samuel Mulliken snatched up four of the first 10 U.S. patents ever issued on March 11, 1791.
Mulliken, the first person to earn multiple U.S. patents, protected agricultural machines, a marble cutting-and-polishing device and a contraption that raised the nap on certain cloths.
Medicine women: The Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, the world’s first medical school authorized to award women an MD, was chartered on this date in 1850 as the Female Medical School of Pennsylvania.
For the record, the Boston Female Medical College – a school for midwives that opened in 1848, but later expanded its curriculum and became the New England Female Medical College – claims it was actually first, and it’s a whole thing.
Snow kidding: As we lavish in this virtually snowless Winter of 2020, we pause to recall the brutal Blizzard of 1888, which started on March 11, lasted four days and buried New York City beneath 50 crippling inches.
Hundreds died – and some even credit the birth of the NYC subway system to the devastating storm.
Not our first rodeo: Before there was COVID-19 there was “Spanish Influenza,” the terrible pandemic of 1918, which had a milestone moment on March 11, when the first U.S. cases were reported at a U.S. Army hospital in Kansas.
Indian tracker: And a happy anniversary, of sorts, to multinational IT giant Infosys, which on this date in 1999 became the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
All due respect to Al Gore: American computer scientist Joseph “Lick” Licklider (1915-1990) – who actually conceived the idea of a universal computer network, inspiring his followers to create the Internet – would be 105 years old today.
Also born on March 11 were French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier (1811-1877), who mathematically predicted the existence of Neptune; the “fourth Stooge,” Samuel Horwitz “Shemp” Howard (1895-1955); longtime New York Post owner and publisher Dorothy Schiff (1903-1989); American silica inventor James Hyde (1903-1999); English scribe Douglas Adams (1952-2001), who authored the essential “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”; and steadfast, quasi-retired TV journalist Sam Donaldson (born 1934).
Don’t worry, be happy: And take a bow, Robert Keith “Bobby” McFerrin Jr. – and American jazz vocalist, known best for his unique styles and his 1988 megahit, turns 70 today.
Wish the singer, the correspondent and all the other March 11 innovators well at firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop off a story tip or calendar item, too, or just say hi – that always makes us happy.
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BUT FIRST, THIS
Taxicab confessions: A nasty virus isn’t the only thing you can pick up in an Uber, according to ubiquitous ride-hailing pioneer Uber Technologies, which has released its fourth-annual Lost & Found Index, detailing the most common items (phones) and most unusual items (a single cosmetic tooth) left behind by forgetful riders.
The annual survey dives deeper than ever before, revealing the times and days Uber riders are most forgetful, America’s “Most Forgetful Cities” (get it together, Lubbock) and the particular days that certain items seem to be forgotten most (baby strollers on Mondays, cash on Fridays, bibles on Sundays). The survey also lists “The Top 50 Most Unique Items” left behind in 2019, including a cooler filled with breastmilk, a sword and a purple suede weightlifting belt.
A Greater New York edition of the national survey, focused on New York City and its suburbs, specifically outs absentminded passengers in these parts (anyone looking for a bag of frozen corn dogs should call Uber pronto). See everything you probably forgot right here.
But not least: Here they are, ladies and germs – the final batch of honorees gracing the stage at our annual show of shows, the 2020 Innovator of the Year Awards, coming March 24 to Woodbury’s Crest Hollow Country Club.
Today, we proudly present some of the brightest lights on Long Island’s tech scene – and round out our Entrepreneurism category with two brothers and their truly trashy plan.
- Technology: Chief Executive Officer James Hayward, who becomes a three-time Innovator of the Year after leading Applied DNA Sciences to another stellar year
- Technology: Chief Scientist Arie Kaufman and Executive Director Satya Sharma of Stony Brook University’s Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, home to the “Reality Deck 2.0” supercomputer and much more
- Technology: SBU Geosciences Professor Timothy Glotch, who’s helping NASA make space safer for humans
- Entrepreneurism: Arnold and Charles Vigliotti, who earned LIPA approval in 2019 for the Island’s first standalone large-scale anaerobic digester, coming soon to the Yaphank landfill
Click here for the complete (and completely mind-boggling) list of 2020 honorees. And with just 13 days to go until our A-list breakfast networker, you better get cracking – sponsorships, tickets, all that good stuff right here.
TOP OF THE SITE
Match, then mix: Lorraine Gregory Communications CEO Greg Demetriou is a big fan of workplace diversity – but only when it’s for the right reasons.
Heart monitor: How simple videotaping technology can dramatically improve outcomes in cardiac arrest cases, according to the Feinstein Institutes.
Working the Systemax: A murky fourth quarter robbed some luster from an otherwise shiny FY2019 – but Systemax has a plan, according to its CEO, and it’s working.
It’s here: But there’s still no reason to panic, according to Northwell Health emergency medicine specialist and Zucker School of Medicine assistant professor Robert Glatter, who injects a B-12 shot of rationality into the coronavirus panic. The good doctor will see you now.
STUFF WE’RE READING
Let’s be honest: Nothing serves innovation better than “brutal candor.” Forbes comes clean.
Big warning for Big Data: The DOJ says corporate shakeups – even breakups – are in play if “innovation disruption” is detected. Multichannel News tunes in.
Best of the best: Behold, the 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2020, as ranked by Fast Company.
+ RunSafe Security, a Virginia-based software specialist with a patented cyberattack-protection process, closed a $3.5 million Series A funding round. Backers included Lockheed Martin Ventures and NextGen Venture Partners.
+ Professional Credentials Exchange, a Florida-based credentialing-verification platform for healthcare organizations, completed a $3.5 million seed round led by Spectrum Health Ventures, Martin Ventures, The Hardenbergh Group, Florida Funders and several healthcare executives.
+ Kinnos, a New York City-based infection-prevention company, closed a $6 million funding round led by Prolog Ventures, Allston Venture Fund, Partnership Fund for New York City, Golden Seeds, MEDA Angels and several individual investors.
+ Dexai Robotics, a Massachusetts-based AI robotics company focused on commercial kitchen automation, raised $5.5 million in seed funding led by Hyperplane Venture Capital, with participation from Rho Capital, Harlem Capital, Contour Venture Partners and NextView Ventures.
+ Mailprotector, a South Carolina-based email security and encryption company, raised $5 million in Series A funding. Ballast Point Ventures made the investment.
+ Welcome Technologies, a California-based certified B-corp. connecting immigrants and their families to life-improving services, closed an $8 million Series A funding round, led by Crosscut Ventures.
BELOW THE FOLD
Film at 11: Nix the needles – new vaccines literally melt in your mouth.
From the weather desk: The push for better space-weather forecasts.
Turning to sports: The coronavirus will change how major-league venues operate.
Anchor desk: Please continue supporting the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including Sahn Ward Coschignano, where high-quality legal representation always makes headlines. Check them out.