Eric Silberstein, 23
Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody could comprende everybody else? C’est impossible on the Internet, which is growing most rapidly in the non-English-speaking world. Right now, Web businesses cope with the multiplicity of tongues by maintaining separate sites for each language group--a costly proposition. But leaving sites in English leaves some international surfers wondering “Was ist das?” That’s a problem: Forrester Research reports that business Web users are three times as likely to buy when addressed in their own language. If Eric Silberstein has his way, the Internet will look muy differente in a few years: A single site will satisfy speakers of many languages. His company, Idiom Technologies, designs and markets "WorldServer" software, which tracks text that needs to be translated and then inserts translations into the multilingual site. Silberstein’s high-tech career began as CTO of ChipshotGolf.com, which sells golf merchandise online. In 1998 he founded Idiom, which recently received a total of $5.25 million from three different venture capital outfits. An early customer was Lycos, whose search engines attract global audiences. Angelo Santinelli, a principal at North Bridge Venture Partners, says Silberstein is certain to be "an impact player." Domo arigato, Mr.Silberstein.