I Was A Teenage Dotcom Millionaire

At 16, Benjamin Cohen was at the heart of the dotcom boom during the late 1990s.

Now no longer a dotcom millionaire, he confronts his past, and revisits the feverish days of British dotcom mania.

Ten years after lastminute.com's flotation, when the British internet bubble burst, Benjamin wants to find out what drove him to devote his adolescent years to poring over business plans and agonising over Venture Capital equity deals.

Today he is a technology journalist for Channel 4.

But back in 1998 he founded soJewish.com at the age of 16, a dedicated Jewish 'community portal'.

Figures of five million pounds were quoted for his personal stake in the business.

When the company merged with the London Jewish News on the AIM market, Cohen was, for a day, the youngest ever director of a publicly-quoted company.

But he was in for a swift fall from grace.

He tracks down former employees and investors to find out what went wrong.

Along the way he also meets founder of lastminute.com Brent Hoberman, fellow teenage dotcom millionaire Ben Way, and journalists Rory Cellan Jones and Jon Ronson, who covered his story at the time.

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2010020920100621At 16, Benjamin Cohen was at the heart of the dotcom boom during the late 1990s. Now no longer a dotcom millionaire, he confronts his past, and revisits the feverish days of British dotcom mania.

Ten years after lastminute.com's flotation, when the British internet bubble burst, Benjamin wants to find out what drove him to devote his adolescent years to poring over business plans and agonising over Venture Capital equity deals.

Today he is a technology journalist for Channel 4. But back in 1998 he founded soJewish.com at the age of 16, a dedicated Jewish 'community portal'. Figures of five million pounds were quoted for his personal stake in the business. When the company merged with the London Jewish News on the AIM market, Cohen was, for a day, the youngest ever director of a publicly-quoted company. But he was in for a swift fall from grace.

He tracks down former employees and investors to find out what went wrong. Along the way he also meets founder of lastminute.com Brent Hoberman, fellow teenage dotcom millionaire Ben Way, and journalists Rory Cellan Jones and Jon Ronson, who covered his story at the time.

Former dotcom millionaire Benjamin Cohen confronts his past.

Ten years ago, Benjamin Cohen was at the heart of the British dotcom boom. Aged seventeen, he became the youngest ever director of a publicly quoted company when his website Jewish Net merged with the London Jewish News. He then went on to run a search engine company Cyberbritain, which eventually embroiled him in some controversial publicity.

No longer an entrepreneur, Benjamin now looks back at his involvement in the internet investment bubble.

Producer: Russell Finch

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

Former dotcom millionaire Benjamin Cohen confronts his past.