Risky business—graduating entrepreneur develops algorithm to mitigate risk

October 06, 2016

By Justin Wong

Step out of your comfort zone. That’s the advice Jasneet Sabharwal, who is graduating with a master’s degree in computing science, has for other aspiring entrepreneurs at SFU seeking to enter B.C.’s burgeoning tech industry.

It’s exactly what Sabharwal did when he flew more than 11,000 kilometers from his home in New Delhi, India three years ago to study at SFU with renowned computer science professors Anoop Sakar and Fred Popowich. He hasn’t looked back since.

Now the founder of Text IQ Labs Canada, a venture he launched in 2016, he develops artificial intelligence software. The software is based on a big-data-based algorithm that helps enterprises reduce the risk of losing major lawsuits. It works by minimizing the probability of missing a key piece of evidence during the document review process.

“Finding the smoking gun that lawyers are looking for to help win their case is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack,” says Sabharwal. “Lawyers sometimes have to go through more than a million case files per case.”

He admits that stepping out of his comfort zone has been a great challenge, but it has helped him develop his business immensely.

“My work as a student politician at SFU was my first experience doing something outside of my field. I gained valuable experience going out in the community to understand their problems and helping find solutions. Something I do consistently for my business.”

He says it is crucial to understand the needs of your potential customers and how your product can help address them.

“It’s dangerous to only listen to friends and family because they want to be as supportive as possible. Create your prototype and let people in your target market try it out. They will tell you the truth because they will let you know whether they would pay for it or not.”

Sabharwal has recently opened an office in downtown Vancouver for his start-up and is focused on finding new clients.