Keith Peiris of London, Ont., has been named
one of Canada's ''Top 20 Under 20'' young
LONDON (Jul 27, 2006)
He is the chief executive and design brains behind an
internationally successful web development company that has
won major industry awards and boasts huge clients such as
McDonalds Restaurants of Canada, Rogers Television and the
Atlanta Thrashers, a National Hockey League team.
But when Waterloo-bound Keith Peiris began Cyberteks Design
from his parents' London, Ont. home in 1999, no one took him
And no wonder. He was 11 years old at the time.
This summer, Peiris, now 18, was named one of Canada's "Top
20 Under 20" young people by the Youth in Motion organization
that is focused on developing the skills of today's youth. The
award was sponsored by companies such as ING and Bell
Peiris is also about to move to Waterloo in September,
where he is enrolled as a first year student in the University
of Waterloo nanotechnology engineering program.
He plans to juggle his duties as president and chief
executive of Cyberteks Design along with his university
"I'll have to balance things more. It's going to be a
matter of time management," said Peiris, who still handles
most of the larger web and software design jobs for the
company that now employs three full-time and two part-time
Besides web designs and e-business sites using tools such
as Macromedia Flash, the company is also now doing custom
software work for companies in a wide range of industry
Peiris said the business started when he was playing around
on the Internet at the age of 10 during the dot-com boom of
the late 1990s.
At the time, the internet was taking off and brand new
companies such as Yahoo and Amazon were undergoing phenomenal
"I just loved what I was doing and found it really
interesting, so it started almost as a summer job, just for
fun," Peiris said.
There was a lot of web development work to go around at the
time, and Peiris realized there was potential for growth. Yet
as he started the company in his parents' basement, he didn't
know if it would amount to much.
As it turned out, it took off like a rocket.
Right off the bat, around 1999 and 2000, awards starting
Peiris earned an Atlantic Digital Media Festival Award,
along with a Webmasters Website Excellence Award, a Golden Web
Award and Best of Web Gold Medal award from industry
associations in those early days.
As the awards and recognition came in, Peiris began drawing
wider media attention, not only in Canada but also on CBS
Marketwatch and in publications such as the Washington Post,
New York Times and Forbes.
Headlines often referred to him as a "whiz kid" and
newspapers and magazines as far away as India, China and Japan
took an interest.
Peiris has captured a number of high-level university and
other scholarships as he enters the university this year.
He is looking forward to the coming nanotechnology boom,
which is why he enrolled in the University of Waterloo
Nanotechnology is just like the Internet of the late 1990s,
He describes it as an emerging but still unsaturated, wide
open field, full of possibilities.