Interview with Ben Ow from Vegas Tech Startup Company StoAmigo

Many people probably haven’t heard of StoAmigo, since they just announced the public beta for their new media sharing and streaming system in preparation for CES. Backed by the international technology company Duvon Corporation, we’re glad to have StoAmigo call Las Vegas home.

As part of StoAmigo’s move to public beta, I took the chance to learn more about StoAmigo from Ben Ow, President and Chief Creative Officer of Duvon.
stoamigo love share show
Tell us a little more about StoAmigo.
StoAmigo is a cloud-based media management system designed for sharing, showing and streaming digital media – whether the user’s needs are personal or professional. From documents and photos to music and movies, we offer users a secure place to keep the digital content that matters the most to them. We also have additional features that set us apart from other cloud services.

How is StoAmigo funded?
StoAmigo is privately funded by its founders.

How long have you been in Las Vegas and why did StoAmigo choose Las Vegas?
Duvon Corporation, the entity behind StoAmigo, has been in Las Vegas since 2004 and has been developing other technology products. Stoamigo evolved from one of Duvon’s earlier product lines. Duvon chose Las Vegas because of the business-friendly atmosphere not only in the city, but in the entire state of Nevada. It is close enough to the major hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles but is a more economical place in which to base our operations. The weather is certainly an added bonus. Now that the city is transforming itself, becoming more diversified and focusing on technology industries as well, we know we made the right choice.

Why should someone use StoAmigo versus the other similar options out there?
We believe StoAmigo brings something special to the table. While storage is certainly one component of our product, we see StoAmigo as more of a social tool that connects users with family and friends through shared content. Our focus is on providing better ways for our users to enjoy and share their digital media, which we do with enhanced music, photo and video streaming features.

From a security aspect, StoAmigo is committed to protecting our users’ media. We offer unique permission settings that give users an extra measure of personal control over their files. Users have the ability to determine whether something they’ve shared with someone can be downloaded or simply viewed or listened to from the cloud. Our system also allows users to retract or modify share permissions at anytime.

In addition, we take our users’ personal privacy very seriously. We trust them to use StoAmigo responsibly, so we don’t micromanage their accounts or content. We protect our user’s personal information and don’t share it with outside vendors or marketing companies.

Where do you see cloud storage like StoAmigo going in the future?
The cloud storage industry has seen incredible growth recently, with personal cloud storage subscriptions growing from less than 300 million in 2011 to over 500 million this year. That trend is expected to continue and research from Gartner, Inc. indicates consumers will be storing 36% of their digital content in the cloud by 2016 – up from just 7% in 2011.

While there are already a number of cloud service providers, I think the ones that are going to remain relevant are those that can find niche audiences and satisfy specific needs. For example, many cloud service providers don’t offer comprehensive music or video streaming features like StoAmigo does. Music, photos and video are such a large part of the digital landscape; we want to provide a service where users can enjoy and share them in a way that is better than our competitors.

What’s your biggest challenge today?
Educating people about new and emerging technologies is the biggest challenge for any technology company. Different people have different degrees of comfort with technology, and developing applications that effect behavioral changes is a daunting task. For example, while cloud service is growing in popularity, there are still those who hesitate to use it. At StoAmigo, we seek to change that by presenting the cloud as a safe place where people can keep the digital media they love and share it or show it anywhere, at any time.

Tell us more about the StoAmigo team. How big is it and what’s their background?
We are fortunate that we are quite large when compared to most startups. While StoAmigo’s headquarters is in Las Vegas, we’re actually a global company. We also have offices in Atlanta, China and the Ukraine. Our team is made up of talented, innovative, highly-motivated individuals with a variety of backgrounds such as engineering, business, software programming/development, information technology, communications, marketing, law, graphic arts and more. We have a great mix of people who are dedicated to ensuring StoAmigo offers the best possible user experience.

What are some of the benefits of having your business in Las Vegas?
The business-friendly atmosphere of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas is definitely the biggest benefit. Other benefits include lower operating costs, a major convention venue, great weather year round, and close proximity to Silicon Valley.

What’s your best advice for other startup entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with bright, experienced and well-rounded people. Find people who will fit into your organization’s culture, rather than those who only fit a particular functional position you have available. These types do not come often, so be on the lookout constantly – even if you have no positions to fill.

In what ways can the Vegas Tech community support StoAmigo?
Use our products and platform. There is no better way to support a local Vegas business and help it to grow. As we grow we will drive new job creation, boost the local economy and help solidify the foundations of the tech industry in this region.