LaunchPad Huntington

IDA eyes better (maybe not bigger) StartUp Connect

By GREGORY ZELLER // One of the hottest nights of the year at The Paramount is coming Oct. 3, with nobody whatsoever set to take the stage. But don’t let the lack of smoke machines, classic heavy metal bands or Jim Breuer fool you. It’ll be standing-room-only in the Founder’s Room when the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency stages its annual StartUp Connect event, an always-engaging moshpit of innovators and investors rocking with potential. Now…


Focused ‘placemaking’ would fill LI’s work/life needs

By PHIL RUGILE // Anyone who follows initiatives like downtown revitalization has likely come across the term “placemaking.” This refers to spaces created for specific purposes, usually capitalizing on a local community’s assets and potential. In practical terms, it means we can create places that attract millennials, spaces that address work/life issues, options that are compelling to transit-oriented commuters, whatever we might need. The concept absolutely applies to business incubators and co-working spaces. Urban areas…


To keep talent coming, tech must fill its own pipeline

By PHIL RUGILE // Workforce development in tech? Not as easy as it sounds. My workforce muse, Rosalie Drago, has in this very column touched on the concept that apprenticeships belong in every industry – but in fact, they’re still viewed mainly as benefits only in trade occupations. You often hear of someone “apprenticing as a plumber.” But when talking about a software developer getting on-the-job training as a “junior” developer, the term “apprentice” would…


For LI entrepreneurs, a bevy of biz-building resources

By PHIL RUGILE // I’ve talked a lot about how startups can utilize physical spaces and how, as region, we need more centers for innovation. But meanwhile, we already have dozens of startups popping up every month – and they won’t necessarily wait around for the right space or support. If there’s no easy way to find what they need, they’ll go somewhere they think can assist them. In our case, that typically means a…


Par excellence: The niche deserve their own COEs, too

By PHIL RUGILE // It’s a mouthful, but stay with me: The New York State Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (thankfully simplified to NYSTAR) is housed within NYS’s Empire State Development Corp. (blessedly known as ESD). This is important, because NYSTAR is the funding mechanism (to the tune of $55 million) for 13 major Centers of Excellence throughout the state – venerable institutions doing grand research and development, with impressive names like the Center…


Yes, there is life after HQ2 – if we’re smart about it

By PHIL RUGILE // With the Amazon pullout from Queens, politicians and businesspeople are apoplectic about our future. Well, hold on – when life throws you lemons, time to make lemonade. Maybe with vodka. The reality is, we are still in growth mode and we need innovation spaces more than ever. Labor Department data shows an overall increase in jobs, though many business owners will tell you finding talent is their biggest growth challenge –…


No. 375: Co-working, crowdfunding and a ton of patents … plus the origin of the pink lawn flamingo!

  End run: Welcome to the finish line of another bust workweek, dear reader – it’s Friday, the weekend is upon us and you’ve seen the job through, once again. Well done. It’s Jan. 25 out there, and if you had the Abbasid rebels overthrowing the Umayyad Caliphate in the Battle of the Zab 1,269 years ago today, good for you. Collect 200 silver dirhams at the window. That Burns: Tonight marks Burns Night in…


Island finally finds its footing on the co-working path

By PHIL RUGILE // Helping new companies get started has become a big part of the “Startup Economy.” Investopedia defines a startup as “a company that is in the first stage of its operations,” often bankrolled by their entrepreneurial founders, who are attempting to capitalize on a new product or service. It’s no easy task. Until you’ve experienced the terror of being an entrepreneur – of struggling to convince your target market of your product…


Digital glory there for the taking on talent-rich LI

By DEAN DeCARLO // As a 25-year-old millennial, I can distinctly remember a world without omnipresent electronic devices. Then my father brought home a white Compaq PC, preloaded with Windows 95. I was awed by its capabilities – and little did I know a dramatic digital revolution had begun. By intermediate school, most of my Commack classrooms had smartboards. My fourth-grade website “The Weekly Video” used a “drag and drop” builder. It’s safe to say…


Seeing the innovation economy in black and white

By GREGORY ZELLER // In a true first for the Long Island innovation economy, an historically underserved population of regional entrepreneurs will step up to the plate Thursday night at LaunchPad Huntington. In conjunction with the 501(c)3 organization Minority Millennials, LaunchPad Huntington Director Phil Rugile has scheduled Ideas Impacting Culture: Minority Millennial Pitch Night, a chance for several non-white innovators to pitch products and services to a panel of established business professionals, also comprised of…


Morning of a thousand stars

(Photos by Bob Giglione) A dazzling array of sensational scientists, energetic entrepreneurs and regional rainmakers gathered April 24 for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Awards. Innovate Long Island’s third-annual innovation celebration, held at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, honored 2018 Master of Innovation Michael Faltischek, senior partner at Uniondale law firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek and chairman of the Long Island Angel Network. The breakfast banquet also recognized more than 40 of the…


No. 289: Einstein raps, inventors unite, LIJ expands and why flying taxis are closer than you thought

Slice of life: Welcome to March 14, dear readers, not quite the Ides of March (that’s tomorrow) but still a significant anniversary for mathematicians. The 426th, to be precise, of Ultimate Pi Day, which at precisely 6:53 a.m. on this date in 1592 marked the longest correspondence between the date and the opening digits of the infinite mathematical constant pi (3.141592653…) since the introduction of the Julian calendar. From cotton to Led: American inventor Eli…


No. 286: ‘King Kong’ lives, Janam Tech muscles up and Sammy Chu bites off more than … actually, he can definitely handle it

Welcome to Friday: You’ve done it again, readers and friends – another week of socioeconomic progress in the books, another weekend earned. It was also a Friday, 56 years ago tonight, on March 2, 1962, when Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain set the NBA’s unassailable single-game scoring record, pouring in a phenomenal 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169-147 win over the New York Knicks. And that’s without the Nike endorsement: Speaking of record-setting…


For Xogito, getting there is only half the fun

By GREGORY ZELLER // Everybody needs a friend – especially early-stage entrepreneurs who know more about their specific field than they do about starting a business. That’s the thinking behind Xogito, a Huntington-based “global citizen company” offering software services ranging from design and user strategy to content creation and Big Data analysis – everything the eager entrepreneur who doesn’t happen to be a software specialist needs to know. Cofounding brothers Constantine and Aris Spathis put…


Debrief: Keeping busy with Phil Rugile

There’s never a dull moment when you’re Phil Rugile, who pulls double duty as director of the hyperactive LaunchPad Huntington and as “human capital strategist” at eGifter, the Huntington-based digital gifting/corporate prepaid solutions specialist that remains one of Long Island’s great innovation success stories. When Innovate LI last Debriefed the media-savvy entrepreneur, LaunchPad Huntington was barely a year old and still finding its way; two years hence, Rugile has honed the co-working space into a…