Mark Lesko

Lesko leaves, so Hofstra Entrepreneurship Sikes up

By GREGORY ZELLER // The student has become the master at Hofstra University, where Stacey Sikes is the new executive dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Sikes succeeds former Executive Dean Mark Lesko, the first-ever head of the innovation-heavy business-development center, who has left the university to return to the field of law. Lesko, whose long résumé includes years as a federal prosecutor, said Monday he’ll be making an official announcement about his new gig…


No. 305: BioMentors, advanced architects and 10 of the nation’s best STEM high schools, right here on LI

And down the stretch they come: You’ve reached the finish line of another busy workweek, dear readers, and if you’d picked Good Magic to finish second, you’d have made a killing. It’s May 11 and it may be National Technology Day in India, but in the United States it’s undeniably National Twilight Zone Day, truly a dimension of sight, sound and mind. Give us your sick: Predating the United States itself, Pennsylvania Hospital – credited…


Heavy-hitting LI BioMentor Initiative makes it official

By GREGORY ZELLER // A high-octane effort to unite regional bioentrepreneurs with qualified business mentors has formally launched – though the Long Island BioMentor Initiative is already quite busy. The LIBMI officially accepted its first program applications in a “launch event” Thursday morning at the de Seversky Mansion on the New York Institute of Technology’s Old Westbury campus. But the BioMentor Initiative is already a year into a “pilot phase,” according to founding mentor Mark…


Fellow in the fold, Hofstra entrepreneurs look west

By GREGORY ZELLER // From the Bring the Mountain to Mohammed File comes the Hofstra University Center for Entrepreneurship, which is bringing a little Silicon Valley to Hempstead. And vice-versa, with a class of Frank G. Zarb School of Business students slated to jet west later this semester for a pilgrimage to the famed California tech mecca. But first, the center is generating a little Silicon Valley vibe at home with the naming of its…


No. 278: NASA in Melville, economic impact in Farmingdale, bottom-line battles and 25 years of ‘Groundhog Day’

TGIF: Welcome, friends old and new, to the end of a cold and snowy workweek. It’s Feb. 2, and it was 78 years ago today when a famous bandleader invited an unknown singer from Hoboken, NJ, to perform on stage at a bobbysoxer gig in Indianapolis. It would not be the last time Frank Sinatra would perform with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Déjà vu: It’s also Groundhog Day, again, and in case you were wondering,…


Appointees enrich Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship

By GREGORY ZELLER // They’re powering up at Hofstra University’s three-year-old Center for Entrepreneurship, where a transfusion of fresh blood is kicking innovation to new levels. The center has tapped a diverse and experienced group of business and economic leaders to serve on a new Advisory Board, providing everything from financial support to program-development guidance to student mentoring. Mentoring, obviously, is also the primary focus of the center’s first-ever “mentor in residence.” Chris Lopinto, president…


Global honor for Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship

Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has snagged a prestigious international honor. The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, an international collaboration of more than 225 university-centered entrepreneurship programs, has named the Hempstead-based university’s two-year-old center one of its two 2017 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Centers. The award is bestowed annually to the best university-based entrepreneurship hub in operation fewer than five years. The GCEC judges split the award this year between Hofstra and the University of New Hampshire’s Peter…


Hofstra ‘star’ shines in national women’s biz contest

Showcasing a “Flare” for the dramatic, a Hofstra University marketing major has captured first place in a prestigious national entrepreneurship program. Pitching an app that connects underrepresented consumers with local stylists, Carrisa Anderson, who’s scheduled to earn her marketing degree in December, took top honors this month in a national business-plan contest sponsored by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. The contest was a main draw of the WBENC’s annual National Business Fair and Conference,…


Venture Challenge: Innovators dazzle, CountryBox soars

By GREGORY ZELLER // An e-commerce website pitched by a trio of undergraduate students walked off with top honors, and a hefty $20,000 check, in Tuesday’s final round of the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge Series. Envisioned by Class of 2017 seniors Henry Crayton, Rory Murphy and Lerthon Theuma, CountryBox – designed to bring “care packages” from the old country to expats living abroad – edged out nine other finalists in the annual student business-plan competition….


Best laid plans: Seven head to Albany for $100K shot

By GREGORY ZELLER // Hofstra University showed off its innovation chops in this week’s regional round of the 2017 New York State Business Plan Competition. Four of the seven teams selected to represent Long Island in the state finals, scheduled for April 28 in Albany, hail from Hofstra University, two from Farmingdale State College and one from Stony Brook University. The regional semifinal round was held April 4 at Farmingdale State in conjunction with Dare…


Something ventured, lots to gain in Hofstra ‘Challenge’

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s a new name but the same entrepreneurial spirit, as Hofstra University hurtles toward the final round of its latest Venture Challenge. Now dubbed the Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge Series, the annual student business-plan competition comes to a head April 18, with 10 teams vying for $40,000 in prizes, including a $20,000 top prize. The competition is the brainchild of Hofstra alum Mike Seiman, founder and CEO of New York City-based…


The Debrief: Seeds planted, now on to cultivation

When last we Debriefed Mark Lesko, the former assistant U.S. attorney and Brookhaven Town supervisor had just left his post as executive director of Accelerate Long Island (sorta) and taken the reins of Hofstra’s entrepreneurship efforts. He never really left Accelerate, however, and with the program morphing into the Accelerate NY Seed Fund and expanding its mandate to support startups in other downstate regions – and with eight months at Hofstra under his belt –…


Lesko, SBU’s Donnelly to run $6M+ seed fund

By GREGORY ZELLER // Accelerate Long Island is back in business, and it’s main private-investment partners are coming along for the ride. The seed-funding business accelerator, which has been publicly quiet since awarding its 10th and final first-round stipend in December, has been awarded $3 million by Empire State Development to establish the Accelerate NY Seed Fund, with matching private investment planned. Unlike the original Accelerate Long Island charter – through which Accelerate teamed with…


Bionic hand, big stare top Hofstra pitch challenge

By GREGORY ZELLER // A 3D-printed bionic hand and a digital-age update on the classic “staring contest” were the big winners Thursday at the Hofstra University CPXi Venture Challenge. The annual student business plan competition – sponsored by the university and Hofstra graduate Mike Seiman, founder and CEO of New York City-based digital media company CPXi – doled out $50,000 through a series of mini-competitions and Thursday’s final round, in which six graduate student-level finalists…


Sharpening skills, image at Innovation Boot Camp

By GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook University’s ninth-annual Innovation Boot Camp has decamped following an intensive series of workshops and homework assignments for eight up-and-coming startups. The campers, early-stage – and earlier – companies based on science from LI’s growing innovation ecosystem delivered sharpened presentations at SBU’s Long Island High Technology Incubator. The 15-minute exhibitions, a dry run for potential investor pitches, were made by each team’s “idea champion” and critiqued by a panel of…