When their son developed cerebral palsy, Cynde and Doug Stearns vowed he wouldn't spend his life in a wheelchair. Using their skills as mechanical engineer and physical therapist, the couple invented a contraption that lets children move in a standing position and tilt forward to table and even floor level. The Beyond a Chair (B.A.C.)-Mobile System was developed for commercial markets by VC-backed Luconex, in Foster City, Calif.

-- Leslie Brokaw