No. 73: Quirky folds, hello Neumann and the truth about man buns

TGIF: A good Friday everyone and a special welcome to new readers. It’s National Research Administrator Day, so if you do that and have one, please celebrate responsibly. Oh, and we heard the Pope is in town. Don’t forget to send us news, trends, scoops, criticisms and corrections to

It’s been a busy week, capped by news that Quirky, the NYC-based platform that helped inventors develop household products in exchange for a slice of sales, has declared bankruptcy and plans to sell or auction assets. The problem: It never reached scale before running through more than $100M in funding.

Also, Accelerate Long Island chief Mark Lesko is taking on executive dean duties at Hofstra’s just-launching Center for Entrepreneurship, which will try to better connect the school’s business, law, medicine and engineering assets with the ecosystem. And start a tech transfer process.

Lesko will stay on at ALI in a consulting role and manage the org’s $3M+ seed fund. The board will decide later, or not, on a replacement.

Of similar regional significance are the winners of our inaugural Innovator of the Year awards. We’re celebrating Long Island’s best and brightest ideas at an Oct. 21 breakfast and would love to have you there. Honorees are from software, clean energy, biotech, science and technology, general inventiveness and craft food and beverage. Details here.

The Long Island Business Development Council’s annual Montauk retreat starts Wednesday. No rooms left, but there are still seats for day trippers.

ClipFix, the Commack startup with a scarily simple solution for all those broken clips on computer, printer and phone cables, has cake-walked an important field test and is heading into mass production.

The state, which appropriated $500M earlier this year to aggressively expand broadband, is now looking for advice on how to do it. Offer your thoughts here.


THE DEBRIEF: North Shore-LIJ boss Michael Dowling sat down with Innovate to discuss the process behind the system’s name change to Northwell Health. Except for concerns about spelling, they also liked Laudica.

Related: The system was named a Palliative Care Leadership Center, one of 11 nationwide that train visiting healthcare teams at outpatient medical offices, homes and skilled nursing facilities.

FACTS, THE FINAL FRONTIER: SavvyRoo, one of the latest companies heading into Start-Up NY space on the Island – this one at LIU Post – is bringing truthiness to social media via data.

Interesting side story from a you-can-do-digital-anywhere perspective: The cofounders, Noah Blumenthal and Stephen Ostermiller, have met just once.

Plus: Another Start-Up NY firm, FlightPartner, is connecting people with luxury jets to people who can actually afford to fly on them. Is that a turbo prop or a ka-ching I hear?

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THE GRADUATES: Farmingdale State College bagged a $2.9M federal grant to help at-risk students succeed. The school has the lead to work with colleges in three other states.

AS LOCAL AS NEW GETS: The Newsday sale and a merger between two of the Island’s biggest digital publishers suggest we’ll be getting local consumer news differently in the future.

VISIT US: Between newsletters, check out breaking news at And don’t forget to like us on Facebook.


Ad vets Ron Greenstone and Chris Nehlen have teamed.

The state awarded $175M for clean-gen projects around the state. None here.

Xerox chief Ursula Burns headlines next month’s minority and women biz forum.

Huntington’s Teq is beefing up its pro-dev platform for teachers.

Buffalo’s First Niagara is exploring a sale, maybe to NY Community Bancorp or TD Bank.

WeWork founder Adam Neumann, 36, has been named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list.

CLICKED IN: Top click-throughs from last Friday’s blast: Inside the Cablevision deal, Long Island’s other angel network, time for the state’s annual eco-dev contest and Farrell Fritz scores big in Super Lawyers ranking.

And: A few of you just couldn’t resist finding out the seven foods you can cook in a coffee pot. Can’t blame you.


(Besides the Innovator of the Year awards)

The Alternative Board hosts Building a World Class Sales Org with the CEO of Sandler Training, Oct. 1, 8-10 a.m., Melville Marriott, $95 now, $125 at the door. Reservations here.

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

EGC presents Breakfast With Google, Oct. 20, 8-10:30 a.m., LIU Post, $50, register here.


JA, BITTE: German newspaper giant Axel Springer is in talks to buy Business Insider in a $560 million deal.

NO ROOM ON THE 2ND FLOOR: Gov. Cuomo appointed 11 people to his executive staff and various departments on Thursday. Long Island went 0-11.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE: San Diego-based Everyone Counts, which provides secure SaaS voting systems that eliminate the need for machines and paper ballots, has raised $4M. The company also took on $16M in mezzanine debt, according to a statement.

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BIT O’ MONEY: Circle Internet Financial has been issued New York’s first BitLicense, the state’s credential to ensure money-transmission companies minimize money laundering and other dastardly deeds.

CORN HUSKING: Young techies are fleeing the Bay area over housing costs, with Nebraska’s Silicon Prairie a popular destination. Salaries are half as much, but the median home price is $157,000 versus $950,000 in San Fran.

And: Smart Asset ranks the top 10 cities with the lowest start-up costs. (Hint: Chattanooga is really nice this time of year.)

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TRASH TALKING: An audit by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli suggests the MTA’s plan to get cleaner subway stations by removing waste bins is a bust. “After four years the best one can say about this experiment is … that riders have a harder time finding a trash can,” DiNapoli said.

THIS IS TRUE: A former Oklahoma City cop has been sentenced to two years in prison for running, a site that helped people beat police lie detector tests. Domain might be available now, though.

FUR THE RECORD: Gothamites own a record 576,000 cats, according to a census conducted by the city health department. No surprise, the number of stray cats turned into City shelters is booming.

LATEST CHINESE CRAZE: Barrettes that sprout a bean shoot from the top of your head. (Honest.)

Kinda related: Vox explains man buns.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.