From the October 2012 issue of Startups

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While I can't say that this year's CES left a lasting impression on me, I did come away with a sense that the scaled-down show had some great opportunities for small businesses. I met some great entrepreneurs and saw some amazing products:

Able Planet--This young Colorado-based company is doing some really innovative things with sound technology. Not only have they been winning awards for the past few CES shows because of their noise-cancelling headphones, they've also been developing their Sound Fit technology, which fits in the ear canal and will do a lot for the hearing impaired.

Solio--I saw this company last year and stopped by again this year. They make these great solar-powered battery chargers. Batteries take a few hours in the sun to charge and then hold the charge for up to a year.

Covington Creations--Started by entrepreneur Julie Barkley, this 3-employee company debuted its first product at this year's CES. The Earbud Yo-Yo holds your earbud wire in place so it doesn't constantly get tangled up. Simple and neat.

--James Park