Ann Arbor Startup RightBrain Networks Celebrates Over $1 Million In Revenue

By Noelle Sciarini on January 31st, 2015 / Comments

As the cloud computing market continues to heat up, Ann Arbor’s RightBrain Networks is poised for growth.

Founded by Jamie Begin in 2009, the company just completed a major milestone: its first year of over $1 million in revenue.

“This is a big jump from the last two years,” Begin said. “It’s partially due to the expanding cloud computing market and the fact that we’re one of the few companies in the U.S. that provide this type of web service.”

The cloud refers to a network of shared resources (mainly built for storing and sharing data) that deliver services to help a company’s business run more efficiently. Services can include SaaS (Software as a service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

A big benefit to running business in the cloud is scalability: the ability to match your company’s computing power to the daily, weekly, or seasonal pace of your business. For instance, accounting firms can scale up their computing power to process extra forms and documents during tax season — and then scale down for the rest of the year.

“100 years ago, every company had a generator and a group of people that took care of it — electricians, technicians, etc.,” Begin said.  “Eventually we figured out how to consolidate electricity into places like power plants that are used by several companies instead of just one. The same thing is happening now with computing.”

Begin’s road to becoming a successful entrepreneur in a growing marketplace was paved with its share of challenges. In 2008, he bought a house, got married and got laid off, all at the same time.

“I was in a situation where my wife and I could not afford the house we’d just bought, so I began sending out as many resumes as I could,” Begin said. “I got a few interviews and responses over the next six months, but nothing really compelling.”

It was then that Begin decided to create a company of his own. This meant starting with consulting gigs, forming a web design company and attempting to compete with a saturated web design market, and finally coming across Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“I spent a lot of time getting to know people through AWS, gave some presentations on various web topics, and finally got involved with cloud computing and focused my company around that,” Begin said.

Fast forward to 2015 and RightBrain is enjoying increased revenue while maintaining a 100% retention rate on its engineering staff. In addition to cloud computing, the company also provides additional web services such as software development and managed services.

As for the future, Begin says RightBrain will continue to grow and adapt to its clients’ needs. One thing that is certain — you won’t see this company moving away from its current Michigan location:

“We could probably make more money working on the West or East coasts, but we’re a bunch of Midwesterners — we have families here, and we’re committed to staying in Michigan,” Begin said. “Plus, having the University of Michigan’s engineering program nearby has been fantastic for recruiting talent.”

For more information about RightBrain Networks, please visit their website.

About the Author

Noelle Sciarini

Noelle Sciarini is a recent graduate from Michigan State University. Now an Ann Arbor resident, she fills her spare time with reading, writing, and the occasional road race. Find her on Twitter: @NoelleSci.