3rd Reject For a Startup Founder

Hello everyone. I am appreciating your time. It was my 3rd Application. Help me please for review of my case and assessment panel feedback? Is it real to appeal?

My case:
LoR1 - Co-Founder & Managing Partner a business offering product management consulting where they launched 100+ accelerator programmes for funds and enterprises

LOR2 - CEO of full-stack development company with over 15 years of experience

LOR3 - Head of Service BandLink at Yandex.Music


  1. I am CEO of marketplace
  • Unique website and CRM system was developed in-house from scratch,
  • Metrics of targeted and relevant traffic (screenshots from Google Analytics), which outperformed more than 6 times higher than average,
  • Media recognition of the marketplace in table,
  • My shares (90%),
  • Salary (bank statement) + Payscale.
  1. I led the product inside IT company
  • Marketplace infrastructure: 5 key components of the product,
  • Exceptional loading speed, surpassing global competitors by 2.1 seconds and outperforming the category average by seven-fold,
  • High-ranking positions in organic search results on Google, reflecting my expertise in search engine optimization and digital project growth strategies,
  • A supporting letter from Expert to confirm my abilities.
  1. Successful strategy in IT company
  • I implemented optimizations that doubled the average (CTR) and reduced marketing costs by 7.8 times,
  • Saving the company over 156k GBP through Google Ads,
  • High positions in Google’s organic search,
  • Supporting letter from Expert.
  1. Invitation for my startup

Only the best startups were given a chance to participate in The Conference in Vienna and had free access to their TheConference500 Program.


  1. My meetups and articles
  • Support letter from meetup Founder to confirm my organisation,
  • 1 meetup: 11 participants offline to discuss and more than 90 online,
  • 2 meetup: 9 offline and 103 online watchers,
  • Article “Launch a tech business and do not go bankrupt” Views 6300+,
  • Article “How to scale your platform Đ’2С over the whole country”. Views: 11500+ .
  1. Interview as an expert in AI voice assistants
  • Total number of participants: 170. The participants of the event are CEOs, CTOs of businesses, and developers,
  • My invitation for the interview,
  • Youtube Screenshots,
  • Interviewer’s Product Marketing Team Lead support letter.
  1. I am mentoring outside my day to day work
  • My mentoring on GetMentor and Solvery,
  • Support letters from Founders the Mentor’s platforms.


  1. AI voice assistant changed the market.
  • Growth of the company, leading to a doubled revenue as indicated by internal financial data,
  • I implemented a pioneering AI voice assistant in the marketplace’s market, which processes 90% of leads,
  • I personally developed the recognition data and voice scenarios for the AI assistant,
  • Support Letter from CMO of the marketplace’s AI Voice Partner.
  1. Expanding the coverage of the marketplace across the entire country.
  • 100 cities throughout the country (Google Analytics),
  • Increased the number of service providers,
  • Developing an in-house rating system,
  • Letter of support from the marketplace’s CTO.
  1. Bot to process orders
  • Resulting in 93% automated request handling,
  • Reduced the time and effort required for request processing, bringing substantial benefits to the company in the digital technology sector,
  • Support Letter from my colleague Head of Business Strategy.

Only OC3 was awarded.
Assessment Panel Feedback and my appeal ideas

  1. “The candidate has submitted letters of reference to support his application, but there are concerns with templating. Referees are external to the candidate’s business and have met him at various events. Each seems to have information which is internal to his role, suggesting they are not independently written, undermining their credibility.”

My answer:
To make it easier for the referees, I took the initiative in advance and provided them with a list of questions. I requested that the referees incorporate these questions into their letters to highlight the information they have. I decided to follow the information from the guide, and that is what I asked them to cover in theirs letters of reference.

As I hold the position of CEO within the company and am actively engaged in extracurricular activities, I frequently exchange insights and business information with other experienced professionals in the digital field. That’s why I reached out to professionals who can not only highlight my outstanding significance but also have a detailed and profound understanding of my work.

  1. “The candidate has talked about leading the growth of the business but has cited in his evidence monthly revenue of ХХ$, which indicates it to be a very small business. Overall the evidence does not suggest extraordinary ability by sustained national or international recognition or demonstrate a level of expertise which places him at the forefront of the sector.”

My answer:
I would like to explain and emphasize that these results are highly significant within the context of the country’s market. I was able to achieve such outcomes step by step, starting from scratch. Furthermore, I would like to note that the information about consistently growing revenue actually affirms my exceptional abilities. Furthermore, I would like to highlight that this is not the only evidence available. Regrettably, it appears to me that the caseworker might not have taken into consideration other highly significant pieces of evidence.
For instance, the international selection process among startups worldwide and the invitation to Pioneer’s program in MC_PoE 4; the outstanding marketing metrics that significantly surpass market standards, as also reflected in Google market reports and SEO rankings – these are independent indicators in MC_PoE 3.

  1. “External talks and activities appear to be mainly advertorial or partnership rather than recognition of his expertise. The candidate has submitted information on interviews, articles and mentoring. As mentioned, some of this work appears to be part of partnerships or advertorial activity rather than focusing on advancing the sector.”

My answer:
As I mentioned earlier, John Gold invited me to an interview to share my experience. This interview was not of a partnership, promotional, or paid nature; it was intended for an audience interested in implementing and enhancing AI assistants in businesses. I was invited to this interview as an expert in the field of voice assistant development. It was unrelated to my primary work activities. During the interview, I covered topics related to the development and implementation of AI voice assistants. I believe that such events constitute a direct contribution to the advancement of the sector. Moreover, besides my perspective, the Product Marketing Team Lead, who organized the interview, also acknowledges my contribution to industry development.

  1. “The candidate’s mentoring does not show consistency over time, and there is little information to show how it fits the requirements around selection and structure per the guidelines.”

My answer:
There is no specific reasoning why the caseworker submits that GetMentor does not meet this criteria. GetMentor has the selection criteria, which is described in the evidence, and it is the structured programme, which is also stated in the evidence. This is also a free-of-charge programme, which is also stated in my profile screenshot. To become a mentor at GetMentor, one needs to undergo an assessment and work in alignment with their guidelines. Moreover, GetMentor Founder confirms in his letter my proven track record.

I would also like to point out that in application number XXXXXXXXX, the caseworker acknowledged my mentoring: “Mentoring for get mentors, and commitment to publishing articles about their knowledge that has had quite a significant reach does meet the criteria of recognition of work beyond the candidate’s occupation that has contributed to the advancement of the field. We can award OC2.” and the next case worker in the appeal also noted that “Optional Criteria 2 requires recognition for work outside of the applicant’s immediate occupation that contributed to the advancement of the sector. The applicant has met the criteria for OC2.”

I think it makes sense to politely appeal, as it seems like they didn’t look at the important evidence. Help me please…

From recent experience and feedback I will advice you to make your application and evidences about you.

Show how you have been recognized as a leading talent in your MC.

Show the impact of your work and startup in the field.

You need to weigh the evidences. Too much details can impact your application negatively.

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Thanks for your time to analyse my case. But what do you mean under “to male”? Make it stronger?
Do you think I should appeal with the Proforma?

Yes, you should apply for a review. Remove statements like as mention earlier, to make it easier for the referees. Hit the point directly as you don’t have much space in the proforma

Authors are meant to write the letters independently.

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I was also not successful, but I did provide filings and pro forma for several investments over ÂŁ50M and Tech Nation did not care.

I have yet to ascertain if the investment approach is an attainable guideline - has anyone received approval on theirs?

At least let us know how it continues, @Vyacheslav_Korotkov!

Look at this successful application


I saw that! Thanks @Afolabi.

One thing jumps out at me more than anything else with @moorjaniajay’s fabulous summary - the accelerator letter. I also have an accelerator letter, but my wife told me that I am not allowed to work for free in an incubator for three years so I opted to not use it. The thing is, as far as I understand it - the entire fast track option from Tech Nation is available solely to people who have signed up for this.

I would love to see someone who’s been judged on their VC merits without an accelerator agreement. It isn’t like Tech Nation was going to call Antler and say “oops, sorry, we disagree on that founder participant of yours, please go find another” :slight_smile:

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I observed from this forum that technation assessors frown at high revenue.

There was someone who earns ÂŁ200k and was still rejected. That high revenue was not awarded.

I have also seen templates feedback on authors of reference letters.

Another observations most successful application are simple…