Stellar Startups in the spotlight

Long before the Stellar StartUps competition, Philly.com has been featuring stories on the region's small businesses. Among those are five of the 20 Stellar StartUps finalists. We've provided links to them here in the event you missed them the first time or would like to read them again. We've also included links to profiles of other finalists we have published earlier this month as part of the competition coverage.

The Grayson School offers a rare startup in gifted learning
The Grayson School, in Broomall, is Pennsylvania's only independent, nonprofit day school designed for gifted learners. The school was selected as one of 20 finalists in the inaugural Stellar StartUps competition sponsored by the parent company of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

Forget stakeouts, these private eyes find fraud using social media
Time-consuming, shot-in-the-dark, rough-on-the-body tactics aren't the only ways to learn all there is to know about a person - especially in the digitally abundant 21st century, when people just can't seem to stay off social media, even when they're attempting a scam.

This start-up helps start-ups that can't afford full-time CFOs
Gene Godick has 25 years of financial and executive experience, including leading one of the most successful initial public offerings during the internet boom as chief financial officer of VerticalNet. Post-tech bubble, he guided its restructuring from online B2B publisher to technology-solutions company. Then he cofounded and was CEO of Tafford Uniforms, an online retailer and cataloger of nursing uniforms that he and a partner sold in 2012.

At Immage, they're bringing a unique approach to battling a tough cancer
To be diagnosed with a subtype of breast cancer known as "triple negative" is to confront a terrifyingly fast-spreading, hard-to-treat disease. From the important business perspective of market size, that unfortunate group isn't especially big, 35,000 to 40,000 people a year. Yet it's one on which Immage Biotherapeutics has aimed its focus, hoping to save lives.

He's got a whole new handle on shoveling snow
Shovelution is no revolution, at least not yet. Making a household name of a product assembled in a household's basement is not easy. "I don't approach stores anymore. It's very hard to get a yes," said Howie Rosenshine, inventor of the spring-loaded, ergonomic shovel-handle attachment.

Brothers turned their college move-in/move-out experience into a business
The setting: the Weymouth building of Lancaster Court Apartments. The event: move-in day at St. Joseph's University. The mood: tired and sweaty from carrying so much stuff up so many steps as temperatures climbed, too, into the 90s.

Entrepreneur offers chance to use family photos to fund-raise
Gov. Christie's budget ax might have fallen heavily on schools four years ago, but for teacher Amy Wiker it was entrepreneurial inspiration. Only afterward came the tough reality that way more is required for business success. And that was followed by a change in strategy.

Drexel students' start-up delivers convenience on the go
Super Bowl Sunday is typically a day of mass consumption - when snacking is endless and the beer flowing. GoPuff.com - a 24-hour, online delivery service conceived by two Drexel University students - hopes to deliver plenty of both, especially the beer, to your home this weekend.  (2016 Update: How a startup aims to topple Wawa)

Tech start-up roars past its fundraising goal
Self-defense technology start-up Roar for Good L.L.C. of Philadelphia is finishing the year with a roar. The company concluded a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo over the weekend with $267,320 raised, exceeding its goal by 668 percent.

MilkCrate helps people wanting to live green
In those cash-strapped days when you first moved into your own place and used plastic milk crates as furniture, you might not have considered yourself part of the sustainability movement. But you were, by repurposing that crate. A few years ago, Morgan Berman decided she, too, wanted to live a greener existence.

N.J. Shop Owner: How her Global Travels Inspire Fair Trade
On a visit earlier this year to Rwanda in central Africa, I gained a profound appreciation for the fair-trade effort. Donatha Uwajeneza, several months pregnant and lugging a huge sack loaded with her handwoven grass and agave baskets, had traveled three hours by bus from her village, Muramba, to Kigali, the capital, hoping to sell her work to the vendors whose stalls cram the Kimironko market.