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NAME AND AGE: Lewis Gersh, 33
Company Name And Description: Worldly Information Inc. (http://www.worldlyinvestor.com) analyzes international financial markets and interprets how they impact U.S. investors.
STARTING POINT: August 1998 with $1.8 million from investors.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE: At the tender age of 33, it's hard to believe Gersh would have the expertise to delve into the intricacies of global investing--and he's the first to admit he doesn't. What the New York City entrepreneur does have is the connections and cash to employ a top-notch 50-person-strong staff of editors, writers and columnists who do know the market.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE AOL MAKES Gersh's secured spot as an America Online anchor tenant started him on the speedy path to success early on. "[America Online] had just started signing anchor tenants and making deals for millions of dollars. It was: If AOL is giving this the green light, then it's kind of hard for other people on the Web not to do so," says Gersh, describing how his AOL connection helped him secure two $900,000 rounds of financing to help bolster his company and launch the Web site.
NEWS REVIEWS: "In online investing, you can take a couple different angles--timely news, which is more like marketwatch.com or TheStreet.com; then there's the other side, which is analysis of the news. [In 1998], there was a great deal of market turmoil on a global basis that greatly affected the U.S. market and individual portfolios, but nobody was putting the information into perspective for [individuals]."
MORE THAN JUST A GOOD READ: While the Web site is the focal point of his company, Gersh is also creating targeted products and services, such as newsletters and various proprietary products, to make available to users for a fee.