Promise Rejection - Kindly help - YC founder

Hi all,

I applied for Exceptional Promise on May 27 and got my rejection on July 4.

I didn’t get MC and OC1, but I got OC3.

Here’s the reason for my rejection.

For OC1, This was a mistake from my side as I didn’t explain the innovation and just gave screenshots in my evidence without any explanation.

For MC, I feel like they have overlooked some of my evidence.

As for my 3 recommendation letters, 2 were founders of unicorn startups who are my mentors, and the 3rd one is from one of the pioneers in digital health in India and one of the best cardiologists in the country. I think they overlooked his resume as well.

My Evidences


  1. YCombinator Acceptance Letter
  2. £1Million Fundraise for my current startup (Bank statement, no newspaper clipping as it’s in stealth)
  3. $120k Fundraise for my previous startup (Newspaper clippings)


  1. Innovation with my current startup with an annual revenue of $500k in 12 months - Provided the screenshots of the app, website, trustpilot, google review - I didn’t explain how it’s innovative.
  2. Innovation with my previous startup during COVID - Provided newspaper clippings from some of. India’s leading newspapers - I didn’t mention explicitly the innovative elements. I just posted the newspaper clipping.


  1. Impact through my current startup - Clinical evidence of 95% of customers experiencing a reduction in symptoms in the first 30 days from our treatment plans
  2. Co-founder Reference Letter
  3. Customer Reference Letter - The customer is an NHS official who is a doctor herself, she also explains the potential of our product in UK healthcare through her letter.

My Appeal

MC(this is the exact response I’ll be sending, not sure what else to send)

Here is a consolidated summary of my CV and supporting evidence that underscores my potential for exceptional promise.

  1. Graduated from IIT Madras, India’s top-ranked university(NIRF ranking), with a <1% acceptance rate, showcasing my strong technical acumen and potential.
  2. Successfully founded, scaled, and sold two tech startups, X & Y, demonstrating a consistent pattern of entrepreneurial achievement and innovation.
  3. Chosen for YCombinator, the world’s best startup accelerator with a <1% acceptance rate, testifying to my promise in the tech sector. Its track record—1 in 20 selected companies become unicorns($1Billion+)—further accentuates its prestige and my potential.
  4. Raised £1 Million ($1.3M) in seed funding for Z, as documented by bank statements, underscoring the faith top-tier investors have placed in my vision and capabilities. The initial absence of press coverage is due to Z’s strategic stealth mode of prioritising product development.
  5. Led Z to generate $500,000 in annual revenue within just 12 months, a remarkable financial accomplishment achieved under the guidance of globally acclaimed startup founders.


  1. For my current startup, I’ll explain the innovation (based on the evidence I provided), and I was thinking of referencing the clinical evidence and the reference letter from an NHS official on how our product can be transformative in UK healthcare (From the OC3 evidence - to make it stronger)
  2. For my previous startup, I’ll quote the innovation elements from the newspaper clippings to explain their innovation.

Recommendation letter

  1. I’ll showcase some of the evidence from the doctor’s CV that indicates his excellence in the digital health space. (His CV is spectacular, i think this will go through)

@Francisca_Chiedu, kindly help me with your suggestions.

My honest review;
For MC

  1. Tech Nation does not have a criteria for universities attended, hence I doubt this will matter much.
  2. There’s no details as to whether X & Y, although tech startups, are in a new field or solving a problem in a novel way.
  3. Tech Nation also currently does not have a criteria for participation in accelerators, except the ones that qualify candidates for fast track
  4. This point further buttresses OC3, as one example of demonstrating impact is in raising of funds.
  5. This point also speak to OC3

For OC1

  1. I think a proper explanation of this innovation will help this criteria
  2. Ditto this

I think your evidences for MC are weak, and will advise you re-apply (This is my personal opinion).
The assessors will want to see evidence of sustained recognition in your field. Speaking at high profile conferences, participating as a judge on a hackathon, receiving national awards, and strong recommendations from leading experts in your field…anything that demonstrates your recognition in your field as an upcoming talent.

For your 3rd recommendation, speak with the recommender to highlight his/her profile as a recognized pioneer in digital health in India. Remember that anyone who writes a recommendation must also be seen as an exceptional talent in Tech, so it will be good to bring his/her tech profile to the fore while writing for you. (This point is if you choose to re-apply)

I think you didn’t organise your evidence well. just showing evidence that you got accepted into YC does not explai. how you have been recognised as a leader. In you appeal you need to give details of the type of companies that have been accepted into YCombinator and how many startups on this programme have gone n to become unicorns, your acceptance shows you have potential to become a founder to a successful startup. You can add other points about your achievements as a founder but it appears the evidence you present this explicitly state this.

You also don’t have any external contribution or recognition in the sector.

For the OCI you need to provide more details about the innovation, just sharing newspaper clippings is not sufficient.

1 Like

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to gather a lot of awards and speak at a lot of conferences and networking events. But that should never be the focus of an early-stage founder.

A founder or the business should be measured through the impact it makes in the lives of its customers, the revenue it generates (I run a profitable startup which I believe is an accomplishment in itself) and to a certain extent fundraising.

I have given proof for all this for all my businesses, including the bank statements of my current company as evidence to show why I’m an exceptional promise when it comes to building a company.

Following are the Technation guidelines and how I apply for these criteria.

  • You led the growth of a product-led digital technology company, product or team inside a digital technology company, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings, lines of code from public repos or similar evidence.

    • Scaled my current business to $500k in annual revenue in 12 months , I’m the CEO and head of growth
    • Raised £1M for my current business. I don’t know how this falls in OC3 evidence. Getting money to from external investors is pivotal for the growth of a business and it indicates the conviction top-tier investors have placed in my vision and capabilities.
    • I raised $120k for my previous business (which was acquired) right out of college from founders of unicorn companies. (whose recommendation letters I’ve submitted). I have submitted the innovation of this business in OC1 through newspaper clippings.
  • You have received nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence specifically in the digital technology sector, as evidenced by the award itself, reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your achievement, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence.

    • 1 in 20 startups funded by YC becomes a unicorn, indicating its prestige and my potential. Their portfolio includes some of today’s best digital technology companies like Stripe, Airbnb etc…

I recently received an O1 visa from the US(the equivalent of UK’s GTV) with the same set of evidence. I think I’m not good enough for the UK if this evidence is weak.

Thanks, @Francisca_Chiedu , for the feedback.

I’m confident about OC1, as the newspaper clippings specifically mention the innovation. I’ll quote the same.

For MC, I’ll add more points to establish the importance of being accepted into YC. The rest of the two pieces of evidence I provided is around fundraising for MC.

1 Like

I am so sorry about how you feel, but unfortunately, none of us are able to set the criteria for qualifying a candidate for endorsement.
I also applied for exceptional promise last year and was rejected, but when I paid detailed attention to the requirements and used learnings from this forum to put my application together, I applied for exceptional Talent and was awarded.
If you’re really keen on coming to the UK through the GTV route, then don’t give up. Who knows, you might also get a Talent instead.

I got Endorsed !!!


A very BIG Congratulations to you. Wish you the very best on your journey here in the UK. Welcome :clap:

Can I ask when was your last edit? I also just got edited today… worried about it a lot

Hi @Tiah1Z, the following is my edit pattern for review.

17 Jul 2023 15:42 (GMT)
22 Jul 2023 17:31 (GMT)
24 Jul 2023 09:58 (GMT)

It’s hard not to be obsessed with these edit patterns but don’t worry too much about it.


How do you see edit patterns? I never even saw edits before I got my results