No. 50: Human whitelists, 3-D organs and the kids are overrated

A good start to the week, everybody and a welcome to new readers including Jim, James, Tasha, Allan, Joe, Joseph, Cindy, Ed, Harry, Michael, Vinny, Tony, Walter and many more. Remember: We’re always on the hunt for story ideas, trends, promotions, criticisms and corrections via

HAVE APPS RUN THEIR COURSE? Last year was a very good one for startup funding, with investments climbing 62 percent to more than $47B. The big winners: biotech and pharma, in part because Obamacare has increased the customer pool so significantly. And, while apps seem to get the headlines, they haven’t done so well with the dollars. TechCrunch

SO I’M ABOVE AVERAGE … ON SURFACE AREA: Interesting piece in The Times about improvements in calculating the number of cells in the human body, which researchers now estimate at 37.2 trillion. More interesting is science’s description of the “standard human being,” a 30-year-old weighing 154 pounds, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and possessing a body surface area of 20 square feet.

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WHITELIST ME: Are You A Human, a Detroit-based startup looking to replace CAPTCHA, the verification system on most websites, is compiling a Verified Human Whitelist that tracks users across more 1M websites while collecting hundreds of “fingerprinting” metrics. After a user has repeatedly been verified as human, they’re added to the whitelist and re-verified on a daily basis. Investors, including NYC’s MDC Partners, love it. Xconomy

BOOTED: Louis Shoe Rebuilders, a mainstay on the ground floor of the Empire State Building since it opened in 1931, is getting the heave-ho. The Post reports the firm’s lease will not be renewed. “It’s terribly disrespectful,” said owner Beatrice Barbieri, who plans to shutter the business instead of moving.

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TALK ABOUT PERSONALIZED MEDICINE: Doctors are now able to study 3-D printed versions of your organs before making the first incision. And what they see before going in sometimes changes everything. Smithsonian

VIRTUALLY FUNNY: Stephen Colbert doesn’t go back on the air until September, but he’s keeping in touch with his audience via a website and new app for iPhone, Colbr, that allows him to continue his mission of “making light of things and enjoying the insanity of the world around us.” NYT

ROYAL PIED-A-TERRE: Queen Elizabeth paid $7.9M for a three-bedroom, 3.5 bath apartment at 50 United Nations Plaza, presumably for use by her grandsons, the Real Deal reports.

A WEIGHTY DECISION: A victory for Port Jefferson-based startup Nomorobo last week as the FCC agreed to new rules that allow carriers to block unwanted robocalls and texts. Founder Aaron Foss and others have lobbied the agency for months, with Foss delivering 250 pounds of complaints from consumers. More on how it all affects his business plan. Innovate

BIO BOOSTERS: The Long Island Bioscience Hub is gearing up to award $8.4 million in grants to local startups bringing bio-medical breakthroughs to market. The hub, which links Stony Brook University and the Cold Spring Harbor and Brookhaven labs, will for the first time use industry heavyweights – GE, Pfizer and Novartis among them – to guide the funding process. Innovate

THE DEBRIEF: With campuses in Brooklyn and Brookville, LIU President Kimberly Cline gets to take on innovation and entrepreneurship from both an urban and suburb perspective. It’s all about experiential learning, incubating good ideas and promoting the vital link between us and NYC. And then there’s LIU Global. Innovate

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THINK BIG BUT DON’T ACT LIKE IT: McDonald’s announcement this week that it will, for the first time, shrink the number of its U.S. restaurants while focusing on smaller operations overseas offers startups an important lesson on what size can do to nimbleness. Especially when dealing with Millennials. Innovate

However: Market research firm Forrester put out a report in April titled “The Kids Are Overrated: Don’t Worry About the Millennials.” It noted that consumers in their 20s are overwhelmed with educational debt and that baby boomers are more affluent and bigger spenders, unhip though they may be. Bloomberg

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CLICKED IN: Top click throughs from last week’s newsletters include the Debrief with Mitch Maiman, the Startup NY Damage Control Tour and Joe Ferraro’s smart cap for breaking into medicine bottles.

SOFTWARE SHORTAGES: Long Island software companies have the hardest time finding Web and app developers with at least four years of experience. And while Long island universities continue to crank out grads with applied science degrees, demand outpaces supply. Newsday’s Victor Ocasio

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.