Exceptional Talent - OC1: Innovation - Need Help


I’m planning to apply for the exceptional talent route, and I was wondering what I can use to showcase innovation in the first optional criteria. I founded a product-led startup and led all the product side of the business. The startup was later acquired by a silicon valley company.

I’m submitting the articles of associations showing my ownership in the startup, audited financial records, and proof of the acquisition. I will also include information on the products I led, but I’m not sure if I need to focus on anything specific here, or whether being a founder is enough as proof of innovation, as mentioned in the Tech Nation guide.

Appreciate your support.


@Francisca_Chiedu appreciate your feedback here

According to what you have posted, you should be able to answer 3 of the examples shared by TN for OC1 i.e. (i) the product itself in terms of product in market and traction (ii) audited accounts and articles of association (iii) domestic/international sales through acquisition by the silicon valley company.

You can try to add a letter from a senior executive of the parent company to mention why they were interested in the startup. This should specifically talk about how the product edges others in the market (if there are similar ones that is).

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Being a founder alone is not enough proof. Was the product innovative, show proof of the product you developed and explain why it is innovative, is it novel, is it first in the market? Is it solving a unique problem? Do you have a patent for it?

Examples of relevant evidence include:

  • Evidence of innovation/product development, proof of product in market and associated traction through revenue.
  • Evidence for each business should include your last set of audited accounts, projections for current financial year and articles of association.
  • Evidence of domestic and/or international sales should show customer numbers for each country in which the company is operating, including a ranking of your distribution channels with a breakdown of when these sales were achieved for each channel (i.e. online, physical retail, 3rd party distributors, resellers etc.).
  • Evidence of employment contract with salary information including any bonus and equity options and history of earnings.
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I was a CTO of product-led startup as well and went for OC1. As a proof of innovation, I used the pitch deck and the traction (agreement snapshot of investments, letters of intent from possible customers). One of my recommendation letter also endorsed that the product I was working on was innovative. This seemed to be enough for Tech Nation.


Thanks a lot @ask4jubad @Francisca_Chiedu @musman2012
Your responses have been really helpful. I will include more details on the product and how it was the first to market. And will include a letter from the acquirer company stating why they chose our product over others because of its innovative features.

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