Ben Casnocha

San Francisco
Age: 18

When Ben Casnocha was 12, Apple Computer's "Think Different" ad campaign inspired him to become an entrepreneur—he wanted to change the world on his own terms. In 2001, after a string of ventures, including selling gumballs to his brothers, he started Comcate, a software company that focuses exclusively on improving operations for public agencies.

So far, more than 50 small and mid-sized government agencies around the country have hired the company and installed its Web-based software to improve customer service and office efficiency. Casnocha says Comcate is now focused on one thing: growth. He plans to have Comcate in more than 300 agencies by 2010 and predicts revenues will grow from close to $1 million now to $6 million by then. And there's more to his story. He graduated from high school in June, and he's already got a book coming out. My Start-Up Life: What a (Very) Young CEO Learned on His Journey Through Silicon Valley (John Wiley & Sons) is due in stores in May. He starts at Claremont McKenna College in California next fall.

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