Exceptional promise as a failed founder

Hi to everyone,

A special warm thanks to Shreeniwas and Francisca for your assistance here on this platform.

I want to apply under the “exceptional promise” as a product manager. I was a founder of a fintech company +2 years ago. It was a digital savings platform using local mobile payment technologies, not bank cards. But I didn’t have enough traction with our customers and with a lack of funding I closed. However, I had a free session with a consultant to know if I was eligible for this visa. And she told me Yes, but I would have to well craft my story.

How can I add this experience as a failed founder for my OC1 (at least 2 examples of innovation)? She told me during this session that I can add 2 screenshots of 2 features of the product, and other pieces of evidence of the work I’ve been involved in the product development process (Miro board etc…), and add links to articles and screenshots highlighting the name of the project in the final stage of national and Panafrican competitions, for “prove proof of recognition”. (1)

Also, I want to add a letter of support from one of the customers who use our product to realize their personal projects, and a screenshot of her different savings accounts. But since we were B2C, she is an individual and she will not have a letterhead. Is it a problem with a support letter? (2)

I am gathering the other pieces of evidence LORs from the Head of well-known Tech accelerators I’ve been through etc…

I am wondering if it will be strong enough since the word “impact” came a lot on some rejections I saw here. Thanks for your feedback.

Is there a reason you are choosing OC1 instead of OC3 for your work? What do you have to show for MC1 and do you have evidence to show for a second option criteria. What you have listed may not be sufficient for me to comment on the strength of you application. While the consultant may be right about your chances based on what you said, the question is do you have solid evince to bank this?

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Thanks for your feedback Francisca.

1- I have chosen the OC1 instead of the OC3 because the OC1 is mostly focused on innovation while the OC3 highlights the significance of the contribution and impact as it is said in the guide:

" 3) How do I demonstrate that I have made a significant…Please note that the term ‘significant contribution’ in this criteria requires you to demonstrate impact, not necessarily innovation. This is different from Optional Criteria 1 where you are required to demonstrate high levels of innovation, not necessarily impact."

2- For the MC1 I will show a certificate of company registration with my name on it.

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Then you have to show commercial success. good luck with you application.

Thank you Francisca.

Have you considered engaging her on paid basis? You might also benefit from professional advice here.

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Hi Shreeniwas, I am thinking about it. Though those I’ve seen are very expensive. It might worth the investment. I’ll see. Thanks.

I’d check with a lawyer, not a consultant. Tech Nation recommended Fragomen.


There is a difference between a lawyer and consultant. Some lawyers are not tech experts, consultants are mostly Tech Nation recipients or tech experts who understand the technical application process. Tech Nation recommended Fragomen, last year they had another partner both charge high fees, but there are other law firms offering cheaper fees. Those who can afford Fragomen 8,000 GBP fee can go for it but i think the most important part is answering the honest questions, am I eligible for Tech Nation Visa? Do i have evidence to prove my eligibility? if you can’t answer these questions no Lawyer or consultant can help you.


I don’t know where you got those £8000 fees from but I do know Fragomen and other law firms charge by the hours they work (in the low hundreds).

The idea of hiring non-professionals for immigration matters is crazy to me. You can get free advice in forums like this. Why would anyone pay for non-professional opinions when there are firms specializing in cases like this?

I also think lawyers do know how do define (and how TN) defines selection criteria. What does “product led digital tech company” mean? They have much better understanding where that boundary lies than most of us.

You are entitled to your opinion. How is applying for endorsement an immigration matter? Fragomen has a document that details their fees and 8,000 is what they charge for the full application service is Fixed fees: £8,000 + VAT. While consultation/ review is between £1,750 - £3,200 + VAT. I am not going to argue whether a lawyer or a consultant is better, people should choose what they think is best for them.

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I do find it interesting that you messaged me four weeks ago asking me how much fragomen charged me for the appeal, and I told you it charged up to 8000GBP for the whole package. I don’t think most folks need the full package - paying by the hour for professional opinions is much more economical. I wasn’t aware a “consultant” would cost £1,750 - that’s much more than what I paid for Fragomen.

Applying for Tech Nation visa is obviously an immigration matter. I am not trying to block anyone’s side business to be a consultant. I just strongly believe that professionals, with law degrees specializing in immigration laws, are much more qualified to issue professional opinions than TN recipients. What qualifications do these consultants have?

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Well, I asked because someone needed that information at the time and I eventually got the full fragomen profile that states what they charge. Again you are entitled to your opinion about who is best to provide guidance. I am not going to engage you further on this.

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At the end of the day, it is a personal choice to make. You both are right in a certain way. For sure, Fragomen might have what it takes, especially for stage 2 related to the immigration process. I’ve found those £1,750 costly but there are people who paid for it and got their endorsement. Same for Fragomen. As well as those who didn’t paid anything (forum, friends, blog…) and got their endorsement.

In this kind of subject, the key thing for me is to know what you want (your need) and if you have enough pieces of evidence that you will have those with a person A. Go for it. Knowing that nobody will guarantee a 100% success rate. The process here is simple: Assess your gap of knowledge (1) and evaluate the cost (2) to get it versus the opportunity (3) based on your situation (financial or whatever) at a particular time (4). Then make a decision, your decision (5).

So you both are right. It is just a matter of perspective.

Thank you very much for contributing to my post. I appreciate! :slight_smile:

My reason for suggesting you work with the consultant/lawyer is that it is difficult for this forum (of volunteers) to enhance the work of a professional. If you are already down that path, then might as well make the most of that path. That’s all.

I am just honestly VERY disgusted by those “consultants” who want to monetize this opportunity without the credibility. Folks who need help deserve professional opinions. I hope folks seeking help actually get the help they needed.