No. 72: Lamborghinis, Roombas and forking off at National Grid

TOP O’ THE NEWS: The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System ended years of internal debate and off-and-on public speculation this week by announcing it would rename itself Northwell Health and launch a giant rebranding campaign.

While maybe not the punchiest sobriquet to ever emerge from Community Drive, the new name gets the job done. The system, now the 14th largest in America, is no longer a cobbling of Long Island health facilities with Gold Coast or Jewish roots. It has hospitals across the Island, in NYC and Westchester, key affiliations in Ohio, Florida and Sweden and a world-class research arm.

Oh, and its own health insurance company. And a medical school.

So what the new name lacks in cachet, it makes up for in clarity. Think of it: We will never have to say “North Shore’s Southside Hospital,” again.

TGIF: A good Friday everybody, and a special welcome to new readers. Remember, we’re always on the hunt for story ideas, trends, criticisms and corrections via

THE PIPES, THE PIPES ARE CALLING: Less well reported this week was a $388M sewer project for Suffolk County, courtesy of FEMA, HUD and the state, that will safeguard drinking water and allow for additional commercial development along Montauk Highway. Insiders credit Sen. Charles Schumer with singlehandedly getting the funding pushed through, so a tip of the hat to you, Chuck.

CASHING OUT: Cablevision’s announcement that it will sell itself to European telecom giant Altice sent CVC shares to their highest in four years, with analysts suggesting the deal will easily pass regulatory scrutiny, according to Seeking Alpha. However, some watchers had been expecting a sale to Charter, which is run by former Cablevision star Tom Rutledge. Could a bidding war erupt?

Overall, analysts are taking Altice founder Patrick Drahi at his word: The company will continue to expand in the United States, so stay tuned.

But, you’re asking: What happens to Newsday?

THE HEAT IS ON: Wunderkind investor Rich Foster has teamed up with veteran VC Harvey Brofman on AngelFire Ventures, which pulls together disparate local financiers on deals off and on the Island. The group has put $750,000 into play so far, with more coming, they say.

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR: Hofstra University, Long Island’s largest institution of higher education, is an engine for research and innovation, combining a Center for Entrepreneurship, a Center for Innovation, the expertise of its faculty, the energy of its students and the state-of-the-art resources of its schools of engineering and applied science, business, law and medicine to drive and transform the region’s economy. Visit us

ALSO THIS WEEK: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced three more local Start-Up NY companies, including two at Stony Brook University and a first at LIU.

And: Although routinely accused of being way – way – too focused on Upstate, the guv actually mentioned a Long Island municipality this week, noting that the Start-Up NY program is doing good things “from Buffalo to Brookhaven.” (We know it was just for alliterative purposes, but hey.)

FUND TIMES: The state ponied up $10M for a new Center for Advanced Technology in Integrated Electric Energy Systems and another $10M to keep the existing – and incredibly deserving, our opinion – Center for Biotechnology in operation for another 10 years.

And: Peconic Land Trust was awarded $1 million in state money to kick off an agricultural equipment grant program, with a Babylon-based defense company scoring $112,000.

Plus: Long Beach and the Gold Coast Film Fest won marketing grants.

Separately: A team from Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab landed a $935,000 federal grant to commercialize floating ceramic mats of nanomaterial that use the sun to split water into H and O and produce hydrogen energy. A little complicated, but very cool science. In layman’s termshere.

Still to come: LI’s regional economic development council put in a bid to cover 27 projects, many tech and biotech related, as part of Albany’s annual “Let’s spin the big eco-dev wheel” competition. Results due later this fall.

BULKING UP: Applied DNA Sciences, Jim Hayward’s Stony Brook-based startup that uses genetic material to foil those who would counterfeit everything from fine wine to currency, acquired a West Virginia competitor.

COULD BE A RECORD: 30 Farrell Fritz attorneys have been named to the New York Super Lawyers and New York Metro Rising Stars lists and the firm has been added to the Super Lawyers Top 50 ranking.

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EVENTS: Innovate LI’s first awards breakfast – celebrating Long Island’s best and brightest ideas – is set for Oct. 21. Sponsorships still available, tables going now. Reach out at or call 516-314-8982.

Also: LISTnet’s annual must-attend LISA awards event is Oct. 8, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Garden City Hotel. Reach out to Paul Trapani at

And: LaunchPad Huntington hosts pitch night on Sept. 28. See you there.

Plus: The Alternative Board presents Building a World Class Sales Organization with David Mattson, CEO of Sandler Training Worldwide, Oct. 1, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., Melville Marriott, $95 now, $125 at the door. Reservationshere.

Speaking of events: Innovate LI can increase registration and awareness for yours. Need help running your event? We do that, too. Email us:

CLICKED IN: Top click-throughs from last Friday’s blast: School security startup Digital Fly, how local schools fared in the annual college ranking and a WaPo piece on how the Internet is killing TV.


GETTING HYPER: Rob Lloyd, former No. 2 at Cisco and passed over for the top job, has joined Elon Musk’s futuristic transport company, HyperLoop Technologies, as CEO. He replaces cofounder Brogan BamBrogan (no typo, but itself an interesting story), who will serve as CTO.

FARE GAME: Way2Ride, a new app to help NYC taxi drivers ward off Uber, is now available to yellow and green cabs. Created by Verifone Systems, which operates the entertainment and payment systems in about half of NYC taxis, the app allows drivers to take e-hails through existing Verifone in-taxi equipment.

SPEAKING OF UBER: It might just save private-equity king Henry Kravis’ horribly bad investment in First Data.

RD THS: Dwnld, a TriBeCa startup whose software can turn any website or Tumblr feed into an app in mere minutes, received a $12M infusion from venerable Silicon Valley VC firm Greylock Partners.

Since you were wondering: Dwnld is pronounced “download.”

Also: Google Capital has invested $32.5M in Manhattan-based e-health insurance startup Oscar. Oscar is pronounced like, um, Oscar.

LEAN TECH: Bedford, Mass.-based iRobot has unveiled Roomba, a smartphone-controlled robotic vacuum cleaner that, among other features, parks itself for a recharge and resumes cleaning later. Roomba, now available for $899, was two years and $100M in the making. (Yes, $100M.)

ELEMENTARY: IBM announced that its Watson Health Cloud arm, which grew out of the intuitive mega-computer that won Jeopardy, will headquarter in Boston. Closer to home, Columbia University will use Watson to translate DNA insights into personalized treatment options for patients.

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LATEST WEWORK-TYPE STARTUP: Yazid Aksas’ Public Factory leases large spaces and subdivides them for short-term rental to emerging fashion designers. The first, on West Broadway between Grand and Canal, opens next week.



HOT TO TROTTERS: Only want to date people who love bacon as much as you do? There’s an app for that.

DEAR SANTA: Lamborghini has taken the top off its Huracán Spyder, creating a low, lean machine to compete with the McLaren 650S and the Ferrari 488 GTB. Sticker price: $211,000, with deliveries beginning early next year.

FORKING OFF: National Grid warehouse employees are competing today in a regional qualifier for the company’s annual Forklift Rodeo in Whitinsville, Mass. Participants will be judged on safe operation while completing a series of agility and obstacle courses.

THIS IS ACTUALLY PRETTY COOL: Seven foods to prepare in your coffee pot. Not entirely sure about the broccoli, though.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading this far.