Alum Credits Business Success to HFC Education
HFC Alumnus Anthony DiCicco gives credit to HFC for helping him lay the foundation of his successful company Category Five Technologies, Inc.
“I’ve always been more of an entrepreneur. I always wanted something of my own. In 2003, I incorporated Category Five. It was supposed to be an IT consulting company based on my background, then we took a weird turn for the better,” said DiCicco, of Livonia, founder and CEO of Category Five.
DiCicco graduated from HFC in 1999 with an associate degree in Computer Science. A 1994 alumnus of Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Mich., he has taken additional classes at Walsh College and Olivet College in Olivet, Mich.
Based in Livonia, Mich., Category Five is the umbrella company that owns and operates several e-commerce niche market web-sites, most prominently www.ProDryers.com and www.ProDrinkingFountains.com. Founded in 2003, Category Five brings in more than $10 million in sales. By the end of 2015, it is projected to bring in $11 million. It has made the 2014 INC 500/5000 list as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States, ranking in at 682. It also ranks 10th in the fastest growing privately held companies in the Metro Detroit area.
Category Five began when DiCicco designed the web-site for ProDryer.com, which sells equipment needed for public restrooms. Sales on hand-dryers were good and DiCicco branched out, realizing people were looking for other brands. Once he started bringing in more manufacturing, sales snowballed. From there, he designed the web-site for ProDrinkingFountains.com.
“Category Five Tech finds good niche markets and builds web-sites around them,” said DiCicco.
Within several months, ProDryers.com, which had been stocking equipment in the garage of DiCicco’s parents, had quickly grown and required an office warehouse. Six months later, ProDryers.com and ProDrinkingFountains.com had grown to require two office warehouse suites. Today, Category Five utilizes four office warehouse suites and a number of fulfillment centers around the country to keep up with demand.
DiCicco has negotiated several strategic partnerships with some of the biggest manufacturer names in a variety of market places, including Dyson, Excel Dryer, Elkay, Sloan, Bobrick, American Dryer, World Dryer, Mitsubishi, Bradley Corp, American Specialties, Clarke, Betco, Oasis, Haws, Koala, Zurn, Buckeye, among others.
Today, DiCicco continues to drive his business in directions of new, untapped markets to achieve desired growth after being able to build it from nothing to a multi-million dollar operation during hard economic times.
For further information about Category Five, go to www.categoryfivetechnologies.com.