Amjad Afanah
Co-Founder of FX Labs
United States of America

Amjad was born and raised in Jordan. Both his parents are Palestinians from villages encompassing Gaza. Like many Palestinian refugees, his family ended up in Jordan and his extended family, now live in different parts of the world. Upon finishing high school, Amjad left Jordan to pursue his studies at MIT, where he completed his Bachelors degree- a combined major in electrical engineering and computer science. Soon after, he moved to San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 and has been living there ever since.
 
One of Amjad’s first jobs was at Oracle. There, he was part of a team that developed cloud systems management offerings. Later, he left his job at Oracle, to work for VMware, where he was responsible for their cloud management business solutions. During his time at VMware, he worked closely with his soon-to-be co-founder - who was a senior engineer at VMware. After 3 years, Amjad and his co-founder decided to leave VMware to start their own company. They went on to build a next generation cloud management and container orchestration platform, that makes it easier for companies to deploy and manage their applications in the cloud. Proving very successful, their company, ‘DCHQ’ was later acquired by ‘HyperGrid’- a company that delivered cloud on-premises. Amjad and his co-founder stayed at HyperGrid - both in senior level positions, for over a year before deciding to launch their next startup, in January 2018.
 
Their next company - ‘FX Labs’- operating as an enterprise-class API security management platform that allows enterprises to protect applications from attacks targeting the API layer - which represent the majority of all security vulnerabilities today. The company currently employs more than 15 people. 
 
Amjad is interested in sharing his knowledge of application security, enterprise software, cloud management and software testing, with other Palestinian startups. He can also offer early stage business advice - which he deems as essential, as “initially it can be hard to navigate”, he expressed. He can also offer fundraising assistance, team building, and guidance on closing the first few sales.
 
With that, Amjad offers this piece of advice to startups: “Validate as quickly as possible! This applies to any startup in general, regardless of their location. Try to incorporate validation from the early stages of your business. This could be particularly challenging for Palestinian startups, since the biggest market is the US -but you really need to tap into these businesses to get their feedback, especially in terms of B2B businesses. Connecting is easier than you think, in this day and age and in-person meetings are unnecessary, especially in the early stages. I would be more than happy to facilitate these introductions. Just as well, diaspora networks like this, can really help with that!”

Written by
Diyala Abdlrasul
Switzerland
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