Sibling synergy, Buddhism fuel start-up's success

USA Today, July 16, 2013

SEATTLE, WA (USA) -- Armorize Technologies doesn't fit the mold of your typical tech start-up.

Brothers Wayne and Matt Huang chart a distinctive course at Armorize Technologies

The Taipei-based malware detection firm was launched in January 2006 as the brainchild of brothers Wayne and Matt Huang, who took divergent paths in their respective college and early career years.

Older brother Wayne, the company's CEO, was a military software engineer in Taiwan, while Matt, COO, was a globe-trotting venture capitalist. After deciding to team up, the Huang brothers found a tall, blonde Mandarin-speaking South African, Jordan Forssman to help them land the company's initial Taiwanese customers. Forssman's is the company's director of business development.

Funded initially by both angel investors and institutional investors, Artmorize began very frugally using minimal resources from its base in Taiwan. "We did everything ourselves with just a few employees and very little cash," says Matt. "It was a very tough but very exciting time."

After a series of advances and setbacks – including Wayne's departure for a year to dedicate himself to Buddhism studies – Armorize hit stride about a year and a half ago when Wayne returned as a reinvigorated CEO. His Buddhist master bestowed him with a mandala, a plan to harmoniously blend his Buddhist's studies and entrepreneurial pursuits.

The mandala was structured to "join these two worlds into one, so the harder I work at Armorize and the more I innovate at Armorize, the more I would actually learn about Buddhism and make great advances in my Buddhism studies," Wayne says.

Wayne brought on board 50 close associates whom he knew from college and Buddhist camps and study groups, and Armorize has thrived ever since.

It now has more than 70 employees, adding 20 people since early 2012, and has sold products to more than 300 enterprise and government customers, in more than 15 countries throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S.

"Buddhists are very, very disciplined people," says Forssman. "They bring that to the table in the way they view their work and their responsibilities in developing solutions for our customers."

Says Wayne: "It's very special. You get the execution power together with an environment that inspires a lot of creativity and innovation."