Startup Directory

Cohort 3 – Text IQ, Founded by Apoorv Agarwal ’16SEAS

Text IQ’s technology consistently identifies reputationally -damaging, sensitive, and/or privileged documents previously missed by human reviewers in high-profile litigation and government investigations.

Text IQ has been fortunate to experience rapid business growth. Its first big milestone came in 2017 when it turned profitable. Since then, Text IQ’s revenue has grown 100% year over year. It has increased its team 5x in just the past 7 months, and it’s looking to double in size this year. A report from CB Insights named Text IQ as a top AI company, and the company was a part of a small group of companies to strike a co-sell partnership with Microsoft. Text IQ is actively recruiting for all kinds of roles at our company.


How has the Columbia Startup Lab helped you on your journey?

In a word: recruiting. Finding top talent will always be our priority, because Text IQ is taking on some of the biggest challenges in AI, and we’re putting this AI to work for some very high-stakes enterprise projects. When we were a small company of six people, the Columbia Startup Lab was helpful in attracting talent, because they weren’t just a part of our small team—they were a part of the larger CSL community as well. Another benefit was being able to brainstorm with fellow entrepreneurs about the joyful challenges of getting a business off the ground.

What’s your advice for future entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to spend a lot of time on customer discovery. Steve Blank has good material on this approach. The human mind is irrational. We tend to run after ideas that will never take off. The best validation of a customer need is from the customer itself. Create hypotheses about customer needs—who has the pain, and what is the pain—and go out and validate. Leave the Lab; leave the building!