By Paula Detwiller Special to The Pineapple New Jersey-born entrepreneur Rick Mancinelli has always been a trailblazer. He started programming computers at age 10. At 12, he wrote his first piece of software, and by the time he turned 14, he was selling his software to customers in seven states. Last year, Mancinelli was named one of the “Top 50 Entrepreneurs in South Florida” by Business Leader Magazine. Today, at age 41, his blazing trail has led him into the heart of downtown Delray Beach. As CEO of Cloud Computing Concepts, a technology consulting and hosting firm he launched with his brother three years ago, Mancinelli is relocating the company’s headquarters from Boca Raton to Delray Beach. The firm is completing interior improvements to 2,500 square feet of office space at 110 E. Atlantic Avenue, Suite 420, and plans to move in later this summer. “Moving to Delray is a step up for us,” Mancinelli said. “The city has a vibrant start- up and technology atmosphere that we want to be part of and support.” Cloud Computing Concepts, also called C3, provides cloud-based solutions and support to small- and medium-sized businesses. A mainstay service is keeping clients’ digital data secure and accessible by storing it in the “cloud”—essentially, at offsite server farms owned by C3 in South Florida and New York. The company plans to open a third server facility in Las Vegas this year. From all appearances, there aren’t any dark clouds on the horizon for C3. The firm was named a “2012 Florida Company to Watch” by the GrowFL (Florida Economic Gardening Institute) and has enjoyed steady profits: the business grew 190 percent in 2011, 73 percent in 2012, and is projecting a 100 percent rate of growth for 2013. Mancinelli said Delray Beach’s walkable downtown, with its dozens of restaurants and other services close at hand, played a major role in his decision to seek a new corporate address on Atlantic Avenue. “We do lots of client entertaining— breakfasts, lunches—and we wanted to be where we could walk out the door and select from 30 to 40 different venues,” he said. “Plus it’s a better workday quality of life for our employees. They can go out for a stroll in the fresh air or run errands without having to drive.” Another incentive was the Job Creation Bonus Program offered by the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). The program provides grants to qualifying, non-retail businesses that bring higher-paying jobs to the CRA District. The award is calculated based on a percentage of the company’s total annual wages paid to qualifying employees, with a maximum award of $250,000. C3 has been approved for an incentive award totaling $38,023.85, to be paid in annual installments over a 5-year period. “C3 represents the type of innovative technology company that is a perfect fit for Delray Beach,” said CRA Economic Development Director Vin Nolan. “Our chic urban setting with a variety of dining and cultural amenities is highly desirable to this type of company, and C3 is the type of company most likely to invest in reinventing existing space. Our goal is to now add more office capacity to allow such companies to grow and remain in our downtown.” Mancinelli said he wants to do his part to spread the news about Delray Beach to other technology companies considering relocation. “I think the time is right, the market is right, and so far our experience doing business in and around Delray is very positive,” he said. “We’re jumping in with both feet.”
Paula Detwiller writes professionally for the CRA and other clients. Her website/ blog can be found at www.pdwrites.com.