No. 67: Tate’s, Harding did it and the race to xyz

THE WORLD, SHOT: Yesterday was World Overshoot Day, the date mankind’s demands of the planet exceed its ability to regenerate, according to the Global Footprint Network. In 2000, the overshoot fell in October. Just saying.

GATHERING PLACE: Convene, the NYC meeting and events company, is leasing 30K sf on the lobby level of Scott Rechler’s 237 Park Ave. building, which is undergoing a $50M facelift. Planned: 250 seats, a lounge and bar and a section for cooking demonstrations.

Actually related: Tate’s Bake Shop is taking space at the Gabreski Airport development being built by Gregg and Mitch Rechler.

UBER DU JOUR: Cargomatic, an LA startup that brings Uber-styled tech to short-haul trucking,is expanding to NYC.

Also: Car2go, a drive-and-drop car-sharing service that launched in Brooklyn last October, is expanding to Long Island City and the rest of western Queens later this month.

BRIGHT IDEAS: Finally Light Bulb Co., a Boston startup that markets eco-friendly light bulbs that look like old eco-unfriendly light bulbs, has cut a distribution deal, expanded space and started staffing up. The bulbs use copper coils instead of a tungsten filament or electrode. Finally was founded by John Goscha, the guy who invented paint-on white boarding.

Sorta related: IKEA announced it is converting all lighting products in its stores to LED bulbs and taking incandescent, halogen, and compact fluorescents off the shelves.

LESS BRIGHT: News Corp. is selling its Amplify digital education unit after investing more than $1B in what turned out to be “disappointing sales,” Bloomberg reported. The company had hoped education would replace declining revenue in its newspaper operations.

Speaking of flagging sales from traditional media: NBCUniversal has invested $200M in Vox Media, owner of, The Verge, SB Nation, Eater and Re/code. (And Innovate LI, if they would only call.)

McRATIOED: McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson tops the list of execs with outta-whack ratios between C-suite comp and that averaged by employees, now required by the SEC. Thompson’s is a whopping 644, despite the fact that he’s one of the lowest paid execs in the Top 10, earning $7.29M. Of course, his average employee makes $11,324.

DOMAIN FEVER: Thousands of people raced to acquire a .xyz website address this week following news that Google is folding itself into a holding company named Alphabet that has as its website.

Bonus fact: BMW owns

PLUGGING IN: Tesla Motors announced a partnership with two dozen NYC parking garages to offer 240-volt, high-speed charging.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Most are archived here.

TAKES MORE THAN IVY: Cornell placed 26th on the Sierra Club’s 2015 ranking of the greenest colleges and universities. No LI schools made the list, but U Conn placed sixth.

VOCAB UPDATE: You know a unicorn is a startup valued at $1B or more. But what about firms that haven’t yet cracked the three-comma club? Just in from Silicon Valley: “Centaurs” are firms that have a valuation of at least $100M, while “ponies” are those worth at least $10M.

THE EYES HAVE IT: The relationship between rapid eye movement and dreaming was discovered in the 1950s, but researchers haven’t been able to do much with the idea since. Finally, a team from Tel Aviv University has pinpointed the related neuron activity.

HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS: Coferon, the Stony Brook-based biotech headed by former OSI boss Colin Goddard and one of the region’s brightest rising stars, has abruptly left its SBU digs and is moving to Florida.

 WELL SEEDED: Bioinformatics startup Envisagenics has landed a $225K award from the National Institutes of Health. It follows $100K in funding from Accelerate LI last month.

SPEED DEMONS: Holbrook-based web strategists Hedgehog Development came in at 1,676 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing firms. Interesting side story about their busy Bulgarian office.


A North Shore-LIJ surgeon installed an electrical implant that jolts the vagus nerve, helping a Bay Shore teenager control his epileptic seizures.

Zach Lippman could grow you a tomato the size of a basketball, but that’s not his goal. It’s feeding the world.

Long Island lags only NYC in worker pay abuse, according to the guv.

Congressman Steve Israel and a pair of state colleagues renewed the call for a major Alzheimer’s initiative on Long Island.

Feinstein Center brain expert John Boockvar on how often he gets the “doesn’t require a brain surgeon” line. From his wife. Plus more important stuff.

We caught up with Mark Lesko on the state of the local innovation economy. Of course, that was before the Coferon news broke.

WHO ARE YOU? A new study of online shopping trends suggests consumers just want some basic contact info, dammit. Dan Bowen talks us through.

STU RABINOWITZ IS NOT AVAILABLE: The Village of Bayville is forming a volunteer economic development working group to come up with ways to monetize vacant land and fill empty storefronts. Call 516-628-1439.

BILLIONAIRES MAKE GOOD BUDS: Nassau Hub developer Bruce Ratner negotiated an extension on a $31M payment owed Brooklyn Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov. The deal gives Ratner’s Forest City operation additional time to sell its piece of the team.

If you’re interested: Ratner is also looking to unload his 55 percent stake in the Barclay Center.

NEXT BIG THING: Drone racing.

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HE LOOKS DOWNRIGHT DEFLATED: New York football fans will love this strange courtroom sketch of Patriots QB Tom Brady.

WINGED VICTORY: In honor of V-J Day, Smithsonian offers up details of a secret U.S. plan to attack Japan using explosives-laden Mexican free-tailed bats. Honest.

KEINE KINDER, BITTE: A study of 2,016 Germans found that having children significantly reduced the happiness of the parents. In fact, having kids created twice as much unhappiness as divorce or the death of a partner.

Not especially related: DNA testing has confirmed Nan Britton’s story that her daughter was the love child of President Warren G. Harding. However, the tests could not determine if conception occurred in a White House broom closet, as Britton long claimed.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.