Please help me review my application for Exceptional promise - time sensitive

Hi everyone, I am grateful for this group and got a lot of really helpful responses last time. Please help me to review my application and I put some questions below as well :slight_smile: Input is much needed and thank you in advance for your time.

  1. Profile : master degree in Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College Business School. Started first e-commerce business in 2020 and now building an ed/fintech.

Personal Essay: Came to UK for its startup theme. Studied master degree in Innovation, entreprenuership and management and then spent a year working.
Started my first business (which was e-commerce not tech) in 2020. Though it wasn’t a tech business but I scale and found market market fit and invaluable startup experience through this.
I am now onto the seocnd startup in which I am sole founder for this and I won 200k Innovate UK grant for the innovation. I am currently hiring and we are fundrasing and growing.
I am keen to help more people getting involved with the tech startup theme in London and I found a non-profit community in 2022 to help Chinese who are based in the UK to get involved with the tech startup theme.

  1. CV +LinkedIn
  2. Recommendations letters:
  • CEO of a HR tech startup. Forbes 30 under 30. My classmate who had work with me throughout the school year.
  • CEO of Series A consumer tech. My mentor
  • COO, Managing director of two sports tech series A startup. My board advisor.

Evidence pieces:
Mandatory Criteria:
MC1: Commercial growth of my startup: proof of pre-seed investment of £240.000 in my startup (Evidence: Bank Statement + Grant letter + Grant assessor’s feedback)
MC2: Evidence of speaking at high-profile digital technology sector events, or specialist events for your particular field in the digital technology sector: Pitch at three tech founders’ pitch events about my startup including at Accenture UK, Imperial College and one hosted by TED Talk founder. (Evidence: photos & video link, posters.)
Q: I am not sure if this one is Mandatory Criteria or count as Optional because it could count as specialist events for a particular field in the digital technology sector? But some of them are pitch competitions and some are sharing my work as a founder and I won one of them.
MC3: led the growth of a product-led digital technology company, product and team: customer discovery photos, interview photos, lean canvas, value proposition canvas photos
Q: I have several prototype designs but i am unsure to show them here or at the Optional Criteria product development?
MC4: led business development at a product-led digital technology company, demonstrably enabling substantial customer growth:
Marketing: screenshot of landing page design, screenshot of posters design, FB&Whatsapp user community (I am the admin), screenshot of eventbrite pages and screenshot of Tiktok
Business development: screenshot of interview notes with corporate clients and different startup experts.

Optional Criteria 1. Innovation
OC5: Evidence of innovation/product development: drafted prototypes in the past year. How we pivoted 4 times and get to where we are at
OC6: My ownership of my first business
OC7: Ownership of my second business

Optional Criteria 2. Proof of recognition for work beyond’s the applicant’s occupation
OC8: I found a tech Chinese founder’s club: evidence of Q&A video content, membership survey & applications

Optional Criteria 3. Impact
OC9: Commercial success: Evidence of different draft version of the grant writing to drive the success of the grant
OC10: Evidence of finding product market fit on my first business: screenshot of our pop shops, retail stocks, podcast and online sales.

To answer some of your questions, you can’t go wrong if you use the same evidence across multiple criteria. Just be sure that it at least remotely satisfies the criteria.

Is ownership considered under OC1? @ask4jubad As a non-technical candidate (Business / PM / Entrepreneurship), does having an example of the apps (screenshots) built suffice as evidence?

I don’t think ownership alone is what matters in OC1 or OC3. The ability to show demonstrated innovation and impact is what counts respectively for the two criteria. Definitely, you must show example screenshots, certificates, links, media publications etc.

More specifically to your question, you have to craft a clear story of how your work as a non-technical candidate is innovative (OC1) within a product-led company. Then you must provide examples to support it.


For commercial growth in startup - will evidence of funding and the fact that a non-technical founder added leads suffice as evidence for MC @ask4jubad?

Alone, no. But letter(s) and other supporting evidence, it should amount to something.

Your words are A ray of hope in the darkness! Thanks for your response :pray: :hugs:

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I think some of the evidences are stronger than others. In that case, do i only submit documents that I think is very strong? What would you suggest?

I think the OC8 tech Chinese club I will have to translate the material in Chinese and not sure what to do with it.
OC9, I have the grant multiple drafts done by me but i don’t know if this is helpful to my application…

Look forward to hearing from you.

I think the OC8 tech Chinese club I will have to translate the material in Chinese and not sure what to do with it.

Do this, if you intend to submit evidence for Optional Criteria2. Otherwise, there’s nothing for OC2.

OC9, I have the grant multiple drafts done by me but i don’t know if this is helpful to my application

What’s this for? What about the actual grant? Any certificates, letters, media announcements?

Note: you can only choose 2 OCs, so you have decide from OC1, OC2, OC3 which ones you want to opt for.

This is the Innovate UK grant we won, 200k. I had put the grant letter under MC as the commercial growth I led. I was thinking to put the multiple draft I did for this grant to show the progress I made as OC3 catgory: How do I demonstrate that I have made a significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder, senior executive, board member or employee of a product-led digital technology company

Thank you!

Yes, it works but also include the actual grant letter in OC3

Ok got it, will do that!

All the best with your application

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MC- A pitch event may not be considered a sector leading event.

For OC1, you don’t seem to have sufficient evidence. What is innovative about the product? Is it novel?

OC3: Do you have evidence of your revenue. What you have seem to b more of grant applications. This does not necessarily show impact.

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