Colin Thornton

Founder: Dial a Nerd

Twelve years ago Colin Thornton was studying for a BSc in computer science and hating every minute of it. So he dropped out. The only problem was he was 20 years old, broke, and knew a lot about computers but very little about anything else. So he borrowed R5 000 to print fliers and get the word out that he could fix computers. Only a few people responded, but he soon discovered an untapped niche market that found him providing computer support to home users. Most of his clients were older and in need of support to keep up with the ever-evolving digital space. Word soon spread and another business was born in yet another supportive parent's garage. Today Dial a Nerd is bigger and more "geeky� than ever, with an annual turnover of R45-million, 14 branches and 135 staff around the country. This is one nerd who might just grow up to be another Bill Gates. � Glynnis Underhill