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AU student innovates, creating legislative AI platform Turbo Legi

Technology company FiscalNote acquired Farahani’s Turbo Legi platform in January

Whether in politics or technology, D.C. provides college students with many career opportunities, and American University junior Amir Farahani takes advantage of what the area has to offer.

In May 2023, Farahani founded Turbo Legi, an artificial intelligence platform for legislative solutions. Turbo Legi uses AI to generate cosponsor memos using press releases and other information provided by users. A co-sponsor memo is a document that describes a congressman’s bill and encourages other senators and U.S. representatives to support the bill by signing the document. The user-friendly platform instructs users on how to input the needed information.

Farahani, an economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, regularly dealt with cosponsor memos during his five-month legislative internship. The Allendale, New Jersey, native was a legislative intern last Fall for Josh Gottheimer, the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 5th congressional district. 

Farhani said  he tends to look for “pain points” when working on new products, and Turbo Legi was no exception. Farhani talked to fellow interns and congressional staffers to identify the points he wanted to address with Turbo Legi.

“I initially identified cosponsor memos as an invaluable pain point that we could really improve to let people get back to helping in different situations instead of writing memos all day,” Farahani said. 

Farahani and his colleagues felt that the interns' work could be completed quicker and more efficiently, and Turbo Legi turned out to be a solution. Farahani said that manually typing up a precise and accurate memo can take some people up to an hour and a half. With Turbo Legi, this process takes a few seconds. 

Farahani said that by November 2023, there were 50 congressional offices using Turbo Legi. Farahani funded the startup platform himself and shared his AI service with congressional offices to spread the word.

“It's a situation where if someone uses it or tries it out for 30 seconds, they'll fall in love with it,” Farahani said. “You just got to get them to try it out. And that's really where we were. That's really where my hustle for that came in.”

FiscalNote, a prominent technology and data company that provides services related to governmental work, business and policy, acquired Turbo Legi in January 2024. After selling his startup, Farahani now works on product and business development at FiscalNote’s D.C. headquarters. Farahani and FiscalNote plan to create an ecosystem of technology beyond the co-sponsor memo service.

“We're continuing to work and really just looking for ways to empower congressional offices through the use of artificial intelligence,” Farahani said. 

Farahani said that he enjoys being a part of FiscalNote’s supportive company culture. Farahani is particularly eager to help the company innovate legislative technology.

“I want to just set the bar high for new technology and have an opportunity to revolutionize the landscape when it comes to legislative workflows and government technology,” Farahani said.

Farahani credits James Harold Webb, philanthropist, businessman and author, with helping him through the acquisition process.

Francisco Ferrisi, a senior majoring in political science and minoring in business administration at AU, watched Farahani develop Turbo Legi. Ferrisi believes that Farahani's work ethic has played a big part in Turbo Legi’s success.

“Amir is somebody more than pretty much anybody I've seen in college who really has an exceptional drive and is very good at moving his ambitions,” Ferrisi said. “A lot of people talk a lot. Everybody loves talking, everybody loves saying they're going to do something. Amir is someone who will act. Amir is somebody who will actually get it done.”

This isn’t the first time that Farahani developed technology. In high school, he made a peer-to-peer marketplace website for the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. Farahani feels that his less successful ventures have helped him on his path to creating Turbo Legi.

“I'm not afraid of failure. I view failure as a lesson,” Farahani said. “The only way to succeed is you have to fail. No one's ever won without failing.”

This article was edited by Samantha Skolnick, Abby Turner and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks, Isabelle Kravis and Ariana Kavoossi.

features@theeagleonline.com


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