FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MELVILLE, N.Y. (March 25, 2015) – Accelerate Long Island named Long Island’s 14 most-promising technology startups as part of an inaugural look at the state of the local innovation economy.
The companies were selected by a panel of technology executives, funding experts and economic development officials, and cover the three sectors that could best supplant the region’s former defense sector as an economic anchor.
The companies were chosen on the strength of the “disruptive” nature of their product or service, their financial status and quality of leadership.
“Long Island’s 14 hottest startups prove the fact that Long Island startup companies not only exist, but that they are raising investment capital and are developing amazing products in biotech, energy, and information technology. The CEOs of these companies are superstars and together as a region we should support the continued growth of their companies. Accelerate Long Island is working with many more “hot” startups and I strongly believe the quality of startups commercializing groundbreaking technology on Long Island is steadily on the rise,” said Mark Lesko, Executive Director of Accelerate Long Island.
To see the full report and get more in-depth descriptions of the startup companies, go to accelerateli.org. The 14 companies, listed alphabetically, are:
1. ASOthera Pharmaceuticals – A Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory spinoff, ASOthera is developing a series of proprietary molecular treatments that can control and reverse genetic conditions called orphan diseases. Though individually rare, orphan diseases nonetheless affect an estimated 350 million people worldwide – 30 million of them in the United States – with a resulting drug market that is expected to grow to $127 billion annually by 2018.
2. buncee –Calverton-based buncee has created web and app cloud-based software that allows users to create digital content and presentations on buncee.com, while also providing a platform for educational creations on edu.buncee.com. Users can combine all kinds of digital media into an interactive visual that can be shared across social media channels, privately through email, or on edu.buncee.com’s classroom dashboard.
3. Certerra – Founded by scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and MIT, Certerra partners with pharma companies using its proprietary screening technology, which can track neurological reactions to drug treatments in the brains of lab mice down to a single neuron, significantly improving the testing of drugs and potential side effects.
4. Coferon – Headed by Colin Goddard, the former CEO of OSI Pharmaceuticals, Coferon is developing tiny molecular treatments, administered orally, that can self-assemble into larger and more powerful therapeutics inside targeted cells. The proprietary “linker” technology was developed at Cornell and Perdue universities.
5. CooCoo – Huntington-based CooCoo’s mobile ticketing and scheduling software is used by transit authorities and commuters in New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, with more locations pending. Growth opportunity: Three-quarters of the nation’s 128 million transit riders carry smartphones.
6. DepYmed – A partnership between CSHL and Manhattan-based Ohr Pharmaceutical, DepYmed is working with clinicians at North Shore LIJ to launch a clinical trial for breast cancer on a novel inhibitor that neutralizes enzymes related to obesity, diabetes and breast and ovarian cancers. Unlike other drugs on the market, DepYmed’s compound has demonstrated high selectivity in its targeting and has virtually no side effects. The compound has cleared initial FDA tests for obesity and diabetes, with a Phase I cancer trial scheduled.
7. eGifter – Huntington-based eGifter is a social and mobile platform that allows consumers to buy and give digital “eGift” cards issues by more than 225 national, and now international, retailers, from Amazon to Yak and Yeti. The eGifter platform also manages group gifting, special offers, and rewards programs for retailers and food chains as a white label service.
8. Mirimus – CSHL-based Mirimus genetically engineers mice for lab and pre-clinical-trial studies of diseases, using what is called RNA interference. RNA is the acid DNA uses to create proteins. Based on research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and their short hairpin RNA (shRNA) patented technology, Mirimus can customize gene silencing in its mice down to a requested cell type or organ of choice. Its proprietary method of embryonic stem cell derivation also significant shortens breeding time, especially in the complex mice needed for studying diseases caused by multiple genetic mutations.
9. Nomorobo – Port Jefferson-based Nomorobo’s cloud-based, patent-pending technology has diverted – and quickly hung up on – more than 18.5 million unwanted calls from telemarketers, many of whom ignore the national Do Not Call Registry. Consumers who sign up for the free service normally hear a single ring. Calls from schools, doctors and emergency services are unaffected. The technology won a 2013 contest held by the Federal Trade Commission, and its $50,000 prize.
10. Sweigh – Sweigh is an app-based social medium that goes beyond “like” or “favorite” by allowing users to pose and respond to questions with A or B answers, creating measurable, near-real-time opinion polling. Users can query select groups of followers or engage the general public, by name or anonymously, and posts are organized into eight easy-to-navigate categories, including news & business, entertainment and eating & drinking. The big future: Licensing to corporate and political customers.
11. Sulfcrete – Sulfcrete seeks to commercialize environmentally friendly concrete developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The concrete, made from sulfur recycled from gas and oil refineries, is more durable than conventional mixes, makes stronger bonds with other construction materials – even conventional cement – and doesn’t require water, speeding drying times and improving durability. Manufacturing the sulfur mix produces 75 percent less greenhouse gases than normal concrete. Potential uses include road beds, tanks and culverts.
12. ThermoLift – ThermoLift is developing a heat pump and air conditioner that has the potential to replace residential and commercial heating, cooling and hot-water systems with a single device about the size of a water cooler. The unit has double the efficiency of current heating technology and will cut cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. The pump is powered by natural gas and energy in the surrounding air, although later generations will be able to run on fuel oil, biofuels and concentrated solar.
13. Traverse Biosciences – Traverse Biosciences is commercializing novel treatments for inflammatory diseases affecting humans and companion animals. The company’s lead veterinary drug candidate is being developed as an owner-administered medication for canine periodontal disease, which affects approximately 80 percent of dogs over the age of two. Traverse was founded by Joseph Scaduto, a Bioentrepreneur-In-Residence at Stony Brook University’s Center for Biotechnology. The company’s products are based on the work of Stony Brook University researchers Lorne Golub and Francis Johnson.
14. Work Market – Headquartered in Huntington, Work Market offers software that helps companies find and manage freelancers, contractors and consultants. The company’s rapid growth should continue as employers seek to reduce their full-time ranks due to growing government controls on health and other benefits. There are now more than 42 million independent workers in America, with freelancers projected to pass full-time workers in 2020.
The Accelerate Startups Report and 14 Hottest Startups ranking were made possible through the support of almost a dozen Long Island businesses and institutions, including Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the law firm of Carter DeLuca Farrell & Schmidt, Ernst & Young, Hofstra University, the Town of Islip Industrial Development Agency, the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, the Rauch Foundation, Rechler Equity Partners, the law firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, the Long Island Business Development Council, and Andrew D. Presberg/Bi-County Development Corp.
Accelerate Long Island is a unique collaboration among the region’s world-class research institutions dedicated to commercializing research and creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Accelerate Long Island’s Board includes Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Hofstra University, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Stony Brook University, and private sector partners include the Long Island Association, Topspin Partners, Jove Equity Partners, Ernst & Young, Farrell Fritz, and the Rauch Foundation. Accelerate Long Island’s Seed Fund has invested $600,000 in six high-tech startups on Long Island with the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, comprised of Topspin Partners and Jove Equity Partners. For more information, visit www.accelerateli.org. Twitter: @AccelerateLI.