Shark Tank

No. 315: Governor Cuomo’s spending habits, Captain Kirk’s weekend plans and live from The Spur sports desk

Survival instinct: Well done, dear reader – you’ve made it to the end of another busy workweek. Your instincts are formidable indeed. It’s June 15 out there, and while the exact date is unknown, today is the traditional anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite-with-a-key-in-a-lightning-storm experiment. Take your pick: It’s also Arbor Day in Costa Rica, Engineer’s Day in Italy and National Beer Day in the UK. We’ll be in the pub. History lesson: School’s about…


Needing a lift, HoodiFit hops Entrepreneur’s ‘Elevator’

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Infinity Towel might not have infinite opportunities to hit it big, but whatever opportunities it has, designer Laurie Russo is going to make the most of them. So Russo, naturally, jumped at the chance when the producers of “Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch,” Entrepreneur Magazine’s network-grade webcast, came calling. Although production has temporarily slowed while her company reevaluates its distribution strategy, the president and CEO of Huntington-based LM Web and Design (dba…


V-50 … Vengo! In a Blink, next-gen vendor expands

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Long Island vending machine company with an innovative hook and a multimillion-dollar pedigree has expanded its dealings with a thriving multistate customer – and deployed its next-gen retail tech across one of the Island’s busiest campuses. Bethpage-based Vengo Labs LLC announced Thursday an “expanded partnership” with New York City-based Blink Holdings Inc., a 2010 startup dba Blink Fitness, with more than 90 health-and-fitness clubs open or in development in New…


At SBU, snow slows – but can’t stop – the future

By GREGORY ZELLER // “Shark Tank” would have met “TED Talk” Thursday at Stony Brook University, if not for Niko. Instead, the blizzard busted up the final round of the 2017 Discovery Prize competition, wherein four finalists – all “early-career researchers at SBU,” according to the university – were to throw down at the Charles B. Wang Center Theatre with 10-minute pitches explaining the science and societal significance of their work, and distinguished judges were…


The little vending machine that could

By GREGORY ZELLER // A “Shark Tank” success story that’s rewriting point-of-purchase logistics is coming home to Long Island. Brainstormed and birthed in Bethpage, Vengo – a wall-hugging dispenser packed with products and patents – is already redefining “vending machine” in hundreds of university corridors, health clubs and hotel lobbies. Now, Long Island City-based Vengo Labs LLC is narrowing its search for a Long Island home, and expects to announce a move soon. It will…


Brew ha-ha: Seriously silly inventor strikes again

By GREGORY ZELLER // There’s always something brewing at Mary Putre’s house, sometimes literally. The relentless inventor – creative force behind Eyecatcher Gifts and much of its whacky inventory – believes she’s struck gold, again, with her latest doodad: the My Brew-Tini Kup, a portable, hand-held device that turns out steaming cups of joe, sans electricity. Putre, a regular at meetings of the Nassau County Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club, showed off her latest invention at…