Montgomery Tech: Cashing In on the Cloud

Silvia Otte | Getty Images

Investors and startups here can't stop talking about cloud computing. With the explosion of the amount of data out there and growing demand to access that, both companies and consumers are turning to the cloud, an opportunity for a number of fast-growing startups.

We got a demo of Pogoplug, a $99 device, sold at Best Buy and the like, which offers consumers unlimited storage in the cloud. From a company called "Cloud Engines," it gives users access to all your home data from anywhere. Just set it up at home and you can access everything on your home computer and hard drives from a smartphone or tablet. It's in the same genre as Dropbox, which has an introductory service for free, then charges an annual fee if you use more than a certain amount of data. Pogoplug is a flat fee-buy it once and get data storage forever.

One of the hot companies here on the corporate side is Engine Yard, run by the former CEO of Salesforce. It offers a service for developers to easily create and deliver apps through the cloud. Over 1,900 businesses rely on the platform, including Simon & Schuster and MTV. Engine Yard has raised $37.5 million, a chunk of that from Amazon. And Engine Yard also works with Amazon Web Services, which has quietly become a leader in the space.

Amazon has some representatives here at Montgomery Tech, and I hear they're taking meetings with a range of companies, both in the cloud and retail space. A number of other savvy investors here have suggested that Amazon's a prime acquirer for any number of companies here.