A key Long Island effort to nurture high-tech companies and revitalize the regional economy added David Calone, a venture capitalist, to its board.
Accelerate, which launched in September after a year of planning, works to connect local entrepreneurs with scientists at the island's laboratories and universities working on research that has commercial potential. The effort, led by former Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko, also seeks to attract more start-up funding and early-stage businesses to the island.
Lesko said Calone had been involved in the initial talks to create Accelerate.
"He brings real experience when it comes to investing in start-up companies, managing start-up companies," Lesko said, "and he's been very involved on a regional level on Long Island."
Calone is the second venture capitalist on the Accelerate board; the other is Mark Fasciano, a managing director at Canrock Ventures in Hicksville.
Calone has been running Jove, a family fund with around $50 million in assets, for about five years. He is a co-founder of the LI Emerging Technologies Fund with Fasciano.
Calone was also an early investor in TechStars, a competitive national accelerator program that helps early-stage companies grow.
"Long Island has a lot of the key assets that we need to grow into an entrepreneurial ecosystem," Calone said. "What Long Island has not had is sort of a unifying force to coordinate those assets . . . to create and build innovative tech companies. I'm excited because Accelerate is positioned and has the vision to do just that."
Before working in venture capital, Calone was a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. Calone was raised in Mount Sinai, is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He lives in Setauket.