David Gardner is betting that the most successful companies in technology both now and into the future will be the ones controlling, gathering and organizing the most data.

He’s invested more than $7 million of his own money into companies with that kind of promise.

Data is certainly a buzz term in technology today. But Gardner backs up his claims with real examples of how companies in his portfolio at Cofounders Capital are already winning customers and partnerships as a result of the powerful data they are collecting, analyzing and sharing. He shared his thoughts as keynote speaker at the inaugural Startup Grind Triangle Technology Conference in Cary on Wednesday.

Gardner’s laundry list of examples includes Stealz, a mobile customer loyalty app and social media tool for restaurateurs. Leaders at the startup recently met with executives at McDonalds not to demo the product, but to share insights they’ve collected about customer behavior. Like the fact that most people choose to eat at McDonalds because of the fries and the likelihood of buying a Big Mac drops significantly with age. Meanwhile, at Chick-fil-A, 86 percent of complaints happen because an employee forgets to give customers sauce.

Myxx, meanwhile, has a vision not unlike Amazon’s. It doesn’t make, sell or deliver food, but facilitates that process and collects all sorts of data along the way.

For users, the Myxx app is a simple tool for planning meals and buying groceries. But with users’ grocery lists, recipe choices, shopping/store preferences and spending behavior in a database, the company can deliver powerful insights to retailers and consumer product companies.

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Citing Stories From His Own Portfolio, Investor David Gardner Calls Data the Future of Tech in NC