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TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Canada's High-Tech Prodigy May Head Stateside

Teen CEO Of Cyberteks Design Eyeing Big Apple

OTTAWA, 8:56 a.m. EDT July 9, 2001 -- The lure of vast American markets could soon draw Canada's Internet poster child state-side.

High-tech prodigy Keith Peiris, 13, has made headlines and represented Canada internationally as president and CEO of the Web site company Cyberteks Design.

Keith PeirisBut it will soon be time to move company headquarters out of his parents' London, Ont., basement, and the Big Apple beckons, Peiris said Friday in an interview.

"We may even move the whole company,'' said the straight-A student who just finished Grade 7.

Cyberteks would maintain a Canadian presence and may still opt for a Toronto headquarters, Peiris added. He leaves Saturday for China, where he'll represent Canada at a forum for young entrepreneurs.

Relocating to New York City has major appeal, he conceded.

"It would be a great opportunity for the business to expand. There's a lot larger market there than London and Toronto.''

Business is "excellent'' and he expects to be a millionaire in about a year, says Peiris, who started exploring the Internet at age three and launched his Web design business in 1999.

Cyberteks now has seven sales offices around the United States and will launch a production office in the Chinese city of Zhangmutou, just north of Hong Kong, in August.

"Until the last month or so we haven't had to solicit for any business,'' Peiris said. "It's all come through media publications and awards, and clients have come to us.''

He plays competitive hockey in the winter with the London Junior Knights and has splurged on high-end video games, $400 sunglasses and an $800 mobile phone. He says the business is more fun than it is work.

"My goal is to continue with this venture regardless how much revenue we make out of it. My plan is to stay with this until I die.''