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 Scotland, celebrating the life and works of 18th century poet Robert Burns, who marks a birthday today (more on that below).

Here in the States, it’s National Irish Coffee Day. Yep, real. Please sip responsibly.

Bunch of Wahoos: Founded by former President Thomas Jefferson and featuring three U.S. presidents on its original governing board (Jefferson, James Madison and then-sitting U.S. President James Monroe), the University of Virginia was chartered on this date in 1819.

Ice capades: An American naval expedition under the command of officer and explorer Charles Wilkes first identified Antarctica as a new continent on Jan. 25, 1840.

Pop culture: In other adventures on ice, Massachusetts inventor Gustavus Dows earned a U.S. patent on this date in 1870 for an “improved soda foundation,” which injected carbon dioxide into the proceedings (to make the beverage bubbly and to spritz it from its bottle).

Other U.S. patents issued on this date include one in 1799 for Vermont inventor Eliakim Spooner, who cranked out a newfangled seeding machine.

Rings a Bell: Licensed to sell telephones in Greece, Turkey, South Africa and throughout Asia, the Oriental Telephone Co. was established on this date in 1881 by Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and an assortment of international telecommunications interests.

Thirty-four years later to the day, on Jan. 25, 1915, Bell (in New York City) and former assistant Thomas Watson (in San Francisco) completed North America’s first transcontinental telephone call.

Real time: And it was Jan. 25, 1955, when Columbia University announced the development of a caesium-based atomic clock that could accurately record time to within 1 second every 300 years.

Pen pals: The aforementioned Bard of Ayrshire, the widely regarded national poet of Scotland, would be 260 years old today, and he isn’t the only major-league scribe inking a birthday. “To the Lighthouse” author Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was also born on Jan. 25.

So were artist Donald Featherstone (1936-2015), credited with creating the original pink-flamingo lawn ornament; R&B legend Etta James (1938-2012); and popular singer-songwriter Alicia Keys (born 1981).

Maybe we should bow: And take a bow, Leiji Matsumoto – the legendary Japanese manga/anime artist (“Space Battleship Yamato”) turns 81 today.

Wish all of these amazing artists well at – and draw us a picture by dropping off a story tip or calendar suggestion, please and thank you.


About our sponsor: Established in 1969, the Long Island Business Development Council has helped build the regional economy by bringing together government, economic-development officials, developers, financial experts and others for education, debate and networking.



Wind-wind situation: The National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium announced Thursday that Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and a host of new corporate partners have joined its ranks.

Clean-energy transmission developer Anbaric Development Partners and offshore wind developers EnBW North America and Vineyard Wind have joined those East Coast states and the consortium’s founding members on a mission to provide funding, technology validation and leadership that accelerates the innovation of the U.S. offshore wind industry. Energy industry veteran and consortium Chairman Robert Catell said the new additions would “contribute greatly to growing partnerships which will … ensure that we will meet our renewable-energy goals.”

Founding consortium members include Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, National Grid, NYSERDA and other public and private partners.

A day late, not short on dollars: It was technically yesterday, but as keepers of innovation’s flame, we’d be derelict in our duty if we didn’t mention the 35th anniversary of Apple’s MacIntosh computer.

Debuting Jan. 24, 1984, at a campy press conference hosted by a very young, fairly goofy Steve Jobs, the “Mac” was an instant hit, selling more than 50,000 units within three months and fundamentally redefining the personal-computing industry.

That meteoric rise is doubly impressive considering the MacIntosh – which caught the world’s attention two days before its official introduction with an epic Super Bowl commercial by director Ridley Scott – retailed for a not-inconsequential price of $2,495 (in 2019 dollars, that’s an iMac Pro with 27-inch Retina 5K display, or about $6,000).



Coming together: Innovate LI’s Voices column belongs this week to business-incubation expert Phil Rugile, who reviews Long Island’s spotty history with co-working spaces – and suggests Island stakeholders may finally have it right.

Face in the crowd: Farrell Fritz partner Alon Kapen offers the scoop on the “three flavors” of equity crowdfunding – and makes a sweet case for a few federal toppings.

Canon blast: The Japanese imaging giant (and parent of Melville-based Canon USA) earned a 21-gun salute in 2018, snagging more than 3,000 U.S. patents.



Northwell Health is putting it all on Purple, and Nomorobo will never forget its first billion.



Innovate LI’s inbox overrunneth with inspirational ideas from all North American corners. This week’s brightest out-of-town innovations:

From Texas: Houston-based Sober Up, a naturally sourced “detoxification drink” formulated to reduce hangovers, annihilates its Indiegogo target and earns global attention.

From Canada: Beelineweb, a boutique online-marketing agency in British Columbia’s Lake Country, claims to be the “first Canadian firm” to standardize a four-day, 32-hour workweek (yes, full pay and bennies).

From California: Sacramento-based Gixo puts two-way communication, instant feedback and real-time assistance from certified personal trainers in the palm of your hand.



+ Robert Harper, counsel in Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz’s Estate Litigation Department, has been appointed chairman of the New York State Bar Association’s Trusts & Estates Law Section.

+ Three associates at Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz have been appointed as vice-chairs of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee of the Trusts & Estates Law Section: estate litigation associate Edward Baker, vice-chairman of the firm’s Continuing Legal Education and Sponsorship committees; estate litigation associate Cheryl Erato, vice-chairwoman of the firm’s Surrogate’s Court Committee; and trusts and estates associate Nicholas Moneta, vice-chairman of the firm’s Practice & Ethics Committee.

+ Barbara Roberts has joined The Spur in Southampton as a founding member and a member of its Board of Senior Advisors. She is Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School and Hofstra University, the former New York chairwoman of TIGER 21 and a former member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission.

+ Deborah Hauser has been named chief operating officer of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. Longtime COO Tom Calabrese will be assuming a senior executive advisor role at the Cold Spring Harbor-based company.

+ Philip Schrank has joined the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Subspecialties practice at Hauppauge-based Orlin & Cohen Orthopedic Group. He previously was a partner and shoulder specialist at St. Charles Orthopedics and Orthopedic Associates of Long Island.



Techs and balances: Big Tech has poured big money into lobbying lawmakers. Is it working? The Washington Post weighs in.

He will sell no frack before its time: A winemaker in Uruguay thinks he can clean up the fracking process.

The little things: Quartz obsesses over the history, structure and statistical oddities of small talk.

Gentle reminder: There’s no idle chatter at the Long Island Business Development Council, where big thinkers have influenced the regional economy for 50 years. Please support the LIBDC and all the great organizations that support Innovate LI.


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