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What it does: Web hosting
Founder: John Xie, 21
Based: New York
Shanghai-born entrepreneur John Xie emigrated to New York with his family in 1998 and started Cirtex in 2003, when he was 13. At first the business resold Web hosting services and collected payment through PayPal. As Web hosting became a more competitive business, Xie, who managed the business himself through high school, expanded. He added video hosting services and more sophisticated types of hosting for businesses—virtual private servers and dedicated servers. By 2007, when Xie headed to Babson College to study entrepreneurship, Cirtex had about 500 clients; it now has more than 10,000 that are supported by 25 employees in the U.S., Canada, India, and Brazil. Customers range from individuals who pay $2.50 per month for basic website hosting to businesses that pay more than $1,000 per month for a managed dedicated server. "Old customers keep referring new customers to us," says Xie. The company has servers in Clifton, N.J. and Chicago. It plans to expand into Europe and Asia next year to keep up with demand. Xie says Cirtex had $1.3 million in revenue in 2009 and expects $2 million this year. —VW