Techies play in a high stakes intramural tournament every February at one of the state’s best – free — networking opportunities. On February 15. at Princeton Innovation Forum (PrincetonIF) the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, they gave away $30,000 in one afternoon. All the teams were from Princeton University with Princeton profs as advisors or main participants. Sponsored by the Keller Center, PrincetonIF focuses on commercializing technology developed at Princeton University.
Diccon Hyatt made it the cover story in this week’s issue of U.S. 1.It reads best in hard copy, so grab one today from a newsbox before it gets replaced tomorrow. Or read it here.
With angels, venture capitalists, lawyers, and supporters watching, each team made a three-minute pitch. Then that power crowd emptied out into the crowded lobby, mobbed the wine bar, and the noise level rose as those-in-the-know and those-with-money interviewed the presenters and each other.
My favorite moment was introducing Chris Owens of Oppenheimer Nexus to Lou Wagman and Joe Montemarano (photo top right). More on that in another post. Also (apparently I can’t control random order) are photos of second prize winner Niraj Jha, professor of electrical engineering, who is working on Internet security; first prize winner Robert Pagels presenting his technology for manufacturing microparticles for delivering biologic drugs; Pagels and his team get their pictures taken, and U.S. 1’s Diccon Hyatt interviews Joe Montemarano.
Read the story here to learn about exciting technology and get on the Keller Center’s mailing list here. Always something exciting going on at the Equad.
“A young man on Wall Street became interested in the work of a mathematician who had developed a system for beating blackjack and was using that system to pick stocks that would outperform the market average. . . . Princeton Newport Partners became the first quantitative hedge fund.”
You can march, you can write letters to the editor, you can call your legislators, but you can also help protect our democracy by bolstering the budgets of the investigative reporters trying to combat fraud and lies.
Poignant detail #1: The print version of Chen’s article showed two lonely news boxes in downtown Trenton. One was for the Star Ledger, which has coopted the Trenton Times state coverage. The other was for U.S. 1 Newspaper. What?? U.S. 1 covers state politics once in a while, as in this investigative piece,. We cover important issues and the boss sometimes opines in his column, but statehouse reporting — that’s not our mission.
ABC Prime Time (tonight, 1/5 at 9 pm) will air a two hour special about Princeton’s celebrity murder case — Lyle and Erik Menendez’s murder of their parents in Beverly Hills.
The Mendendez brothers grew up in Princeton. Lyle went to Princeton University but was suspended for cheating on a paper.They owned what is now Chuck’s Spring Street Cafe. The brothers later testified they were motivated by abuse by their father.
Larry Tabak, who had been the brothers’ tennis coach, wrote a long article for U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 13, 1990. Though referenced in this story, it preceded our publishing everything online and is not now available on line. Later our images were used in a book and a cable TV special.
Tonight ABC has words from Lyle, from prison. I will be eager to see what new material has been revealed.
“The rich fragrance of steaming beet borscht wafted into my apartment from Alexandra’s kitchen, awakening memories of my mother’s incomparable version of the famous Russian soup.”
Libby Zinman wrote this evocative account of living in the Harriet Bryan house for U.S. 1 Newspaper’s cover story this week. Describing her apartment there: “It had been designed by architects whose esthetic sensibility had brought the outdoors into the apartment’s living quarters, allowing the woods, luxuriantly clothed in the red and golden leaves of autumn under a brilliant blue sky, to become part of my everyday life.”
Zinman had traveled widely and spent much of her professional life in Vietnam. She found wide diversity in her new home. “A milieu like this offered rich opportunities to understand other worlds and foreign cultures, a reality that also gently nudged us all to practice, more thoughtfully, the gentle art of tolerance every single day.”
She also covered how senior housing works in Princeton. In this sidebar, she testifies that “the Harriet Bryan House is one of the outstanding successes of Princeton Community Housing, which offers different programs for seniors unable to afford the increased cost of purchasing homes or renting apartments.”
“We were there first,” says Bennett Baryln. “Bridgegate has been fascinating because it lifts the veil of what we saw in Hunterdon, the taking over of agencies to serve only political ends.”
Barlyn finally got his just due — a $1.5 million payment from New Jersey settling the case against, as the U.S. 1 article states, a “Bridgegate-like web — that includes small town shenanigans connecting to statehouse leaders, respected legal professionals getting fired, and a lone lawyer’s quest to find the truth.”
Dan Aubrey wrote the investigative article in this week’s U.S. 1 here. Aubrey’s first person similar investigation from 2014 is here. If you are a fan of Governor Chris Christie, either article will make you very uncomfortable. How could this happen? Bridgegate may have the answer.
“Stories Still Matter: In Print and Online” was the theme of the Princeton Chamber’s Business before Business breakfast networking meeting this morning. Richard K. Rein, founding editor of U.S. 1 Newspaper, shared stories that only dig-deeper news people would know. His speech was informative, entertaining and well-delivered.
As a Speech Coach, I was especially taken by his smart opening which was void of verbiage. Yes, Rein opened with silence, four seconds worth (as the audience later learned). He created the “verbal white space”™ that level-sets audience attention and highlights opening remarks. Silence is often scary for societies that talk a lot.I noticed one or two people in the audience getting antsy after 2 seconds of quiet, but saw the other 90 people in the audience palpably poised to listen and patiently await the stories that would soon unfold.
Starting a speech with silence makes perfect sense. It can feel risky and uncomfortable at first, but the positive impact is quite rewarding. Silence is to speech, what margins are to writing. The ability to be present without words in speaking and in life, can be a strong differentiator.
Narratives can change opinions, said Rein, citing the late John Henderson (a former reporter who built his real estate business on the lyrical descriptions of his listings) and Jerry Fennelly, who issues real estate analytics in story form. Long form narratives can also clarify the thinking of the writer (as well as the of the reader) and help establish credibility for both writer and subject.
Then it was story time: Rein told of almost-missed stories about Colin Carpi, lawyer Bruce Afran, and Muhammed Ali (as written by himself and fellow Princetonian sports writer Frank Deford) and he related a bit of gossip about Larry L. King. (Based on observing Ted Kennedy at a party, King vowed to do everything he could to keep that Kennedy from being president.)
In a lively Q&A Irv Urken asked about the value of print in a digital world: Brandishing the articles he used in his speech, he said, “you don’t have to worry about your batteries going down.” He also cited “the science of touch” and suggested that some presentations and pictures “require a bigger screen.” That print media has a limited space means that somebody must edit it to fit the space, and when editors get to do more than just run a spell check, readers read more carefully. Then Rein gave a shout out to Urken’s offspring who have media careers — one works for Newsweek and Street, the other for Yahoo.
Former reporter Vickie Hurley-Schubert (now with Creative Marketing Alliance) asked which was his favorite story. Hard to pick, but Rein cited one early in his career, for New Jersey Monthly, on the scandal surrounding Circle of Friends.
I liked his answer about whether the media has a liberal bias: “When you spend time with people, you begin to assimilate their values. Media does have an ego, but it also bends over backwards to present other points of view.”
So — down with ‘scooplets,’ which, as Rein explained, are what Jill Abramson calls the focus on quick content that spawned $1.9 billion in free publicity to the Trump campaign.
Up with narrative journalism. Long live the long form stories in the likes of U.S. 1 and Princeton Echo.