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Jeffrey Ribeiro thought he could design a better – and cheaper – way to feed his pet geckos. (Kevin Van Paassen For The Globe and Mail)

Pet lover starts business in his mom’s basement with $246

Jeffrey Ribeiro thought he could design a better – and cheaper – way to feed his pet geckos. He started a business called Repti-Ledge in his mother’s Toronto basement, and his low-cost feeding-shelf design has proven popular.

Today the product is sold in 53 stores in North America as well as in Germany, Mexico and Britain. But what he really needs to do is sell it to big-box retailer PetSmart. Read the article here.

Pictured here in New York, Matt Friesen is a co-founder and chief executive officer of Wantering, a fashion search engine based in Vancouver. (Eric Thayer For The Globe and Mail)

Vancouver fashion startup struts into the U.S. in a big way

Wantering gathers the latest fashions from across the Web. The website lets users browse and shop with ease at more than 125 retailers.

It recently acquired a U.S. company and now has employees in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles.

Still in the startup phase, the company must find a way to instill a common culture. “Merging two completely discrete teams into one cohesive unit takes some challenges,” co-founder Matt Friesen says. “It’s further exacerbated by the fact that we’re all in so many different locations.” Read the story here.

David Frey is the co-CEO of Vancouver-based Teach Away Inc., which is about to launch a video-conference tutoring service for high school and undergrad students. (Rafal Gerszak For The Globe and Mail)

How can this startup compete with resources like Khan Academy?

David Frey is launching a video-conference tutoring service in Vancouver to serve high-school and undergrad students. Those who use the service, called Skooli, will be able to trade files, use virtual whiteboards, chat by voice or text and use screen-sharing to emphasize concepts.

But with myriad free learning tools already available on the Web, does it have a chance? Mr. Frey’s service, which will cost $35 to $50 an hour, will compete with free resources such as Khan Academy, a non-profit organization promising a “world class education.” Read the story here.

Pictured are Amanda Adkins, left, and Lorena Smalley, co-founders of Chewed Slippers. (Jason Franson For The Globe and Mail)

‘Really? Pet photography?’ Edmonton duo stake their careers on it

When two photographers shut down their individual studios and opened a pet photo business called Chewed Slippers, some people doubted whether they could make a go of it.

Amanda Adkins and Lorena Smalley have found their service in growing demand, booking 30 clients a month. They think they will grow more quickly if they can convince skeptics that their service is no joke. That means snuffing out a recurring question: “Really? Pet photography?” Read the story here.

Paul Underhill created the nutritious drink Rumble. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)

Cyclist wants you to try the drink that made him healthy again

Paul Underhill launched a nutritious drink that he says helped him recover from helps him cope with cystic fibrosis and a double lung transplant. An avid cyclist, Mr. Underhill, 44, wanted to create a nourishing beverage that was free of the artificial additives in the meal replacement drinks that his doctor suggested.

Originally concocted in a kitchen blender, Rumble is packed with 20 grams of protein in each 12-ounce bottle, along with kale, walnut oil, pomegranate and beet juice.

But how can his company market a tough-to-categorize product with a shoestring budget, and expand to the United States? Read the story here.

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