Rejected Optional 1 - Please Assist

Hello everyone,

as expected the application was rejected. My mandatory and Optional 3 was accepted however optional 1 was rejected for the following reason:

‘‘The applicant does not meet the requirements of optional criteria 1. The evidence provided fails to
describe what the actual innovation within their product is. There are very few details other than it being
a business management tool in a specific niche of makeup artists. The evidence of R&D tax credit
application does not prove that innovation is present but suggests that it is being sought. The approval
for Apple test flight is no measure of innovation.’’

I have provided the following evidences for Optional 1:

this is technation optional 1 example of evidences:

I submitted apple store confirmation that my app is live, an to me that is evidence that the product in the market, besides the clients tractions in MVP1, that is an evidence that is actually exisiting in the market.

Set of audit account is provided as requested and suggested by one of the mates in this forum.

I provided company shareholders , trademark and registeration which all represent my name with ownership of 100% of shares since i did not raise funds yet?

that is beside the letters that explained in details my journey in developing and evidences for mandatory and optional 3 which included press, articles about me as a founder and about my app and evidences that i hire developers as business candidate and sign contracts providing them design and scope of work.

What do you think guys?

So sorry. Did you provide evidence of traction gained through revenue. App downloads alone does not show that it is profitable.

I provided details of number of subscriptions i had in MVP and screen shot of app admin portal. the business is in pre-revenue

however the audited accounts show the investment i have done through incorporation up to date.

i am on startup and that is why these data are limited.

is this application for talent or promise.

Promise - i just developed my app in the past 2 years and just recently launch it and i am in the UK and recognised nationally by different well known bodies.

I think you should appeal the decision and demonstrate why you evidence is innovative based on the evidence you submitted. Let the panel know if it is the first of it’s kind. To be fair the evidence you submitted are not too strong but a submission does not mean it has been approved. Is apple store test flight given based on product innovation, if so, elaborate on the importance.

Not the Apple store - the apple store was evidence of the prooduct in the market.
R&D claim is only for innovative projects that are creating projects from scratch and new technology. If i use exisiting technology then i wont be able to apply for R&D.

Also, they wanted the equity, trademark, incorporation as an evidence which i provided.

Explain this in your appeal, good luck!

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The anxiety/expectations is over at last.
Good news is that they only flagged one out of three, so there will be enough room to appeal your case given the limited char count.

However, I have one question Maya for clarity.
Are the three evidences talking about the same product or different products?

Assuming it’s same product.
I noticed that for each of the evidence examples, your evidence is missing one criterion (and I fear same for my case too… Chai)

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same product @Yusuf_Adebanjo

Does any of the 3 documents answer. If not, can there be reference to other evidences you provided that answer this?

I think your case will be simple, if there can be any pointer to reference the innovative nature of the product

The only trick here will be how you can reference the pointer from the evidences already submitted

Is there any?
Maybe we start with the notion of r&d

All that is needed is to highlight how it is innovative.

Also, we can play around words in your favour if your notion of innovation is supported by the TN definition of innovation

I am personally interested in your appeal Maya, Maya must be endorsed :grinning: :muscle:

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So sorry to hear the outcome Maya!

Read the details and with the kind of information you have provided it doesn’t look you showcased innovation. OC1 has to primarily talk about innovation. The release of an app is not an innovation, apple approving the app is not innovation, the app you have built must be solving some problem - the way you solve that problem differently can be considered innovative if it’s not already happening in the market.

For instance you launch an app using which people can learn different languages - there is no innovation as there are 100s of such apps

But the way you have created the product and approach using which users learn a language in 6 days, that’s not happening in the market and you can showcase the way you did it and the approach - that will be considered innovation.

The traction part, audited numbers etc are the evidences to support your claim of innovation, they themselves cannot claim anything stand alone.

Please note OC1 is purely about innovation and not impact. If you innovated something which had great impact - it’s strong document. But if you write something which is huge impact but can’t be considered innovation then it’s a weak document.


Yes, so right now.
I think the best we could do is to see how his appeal can be strong.

So sorry to hear this @Maya. I am a fan of your contribution to this platform which has helped a lot of people. Here are my thoughts on the appeal.

  1. It appears, based on the evidence above, that what you supplied shows that the app/company is at a stage earlier than what the criteria is looking for (mostly revenue and probably high number of users).

That said, and with the application in an appeal state, here are some things I think you should emphasise:

  1. Describe what the actual innovation within the product is (TN say they don’t see it).
  2. Then this:

TN is saying that just having the R&D application isn’t enough while you are saying that without checking some important boxes one won’t even be able to apply for R&D credits. I don’t know anything about R&D tax credits but if what you are saying is true then I think it is worth pointing it out that just having a R&D application made means something (include the details).

All the best with the appeal.


thanks a lot @westside

I sincerely thank everyone for contributing and advising. It must be so challenging for everyone to process this.

below is R&D explanation in the HMRC website (UK GOVERMENT)

it clearly state that only innovative companies developing advancement in their field and using new technology (not existing ones) are eligible for R&D and thats why i was so confident about this specific evidence as i see it strong.

Interestingly, Tech Nation highly appreciated my evidences in the impact and recognition. I was worried as startup they will just focus on traction and millions and billions that i raise. they did not point out this factor at all, and appreciated the entrepreneurial journey i had. and that is absolutely great.

I understand from their feedback, that they wanted to learn more about app, design, functionality, vision, and how we built it. (the Technology)

these were highlighted in the letters only. i depended on R&D evidence as this is confirming innovation, new technology and advancement. Also, when i referred to app store it is because i see this an evidence that we are officially in the market. Now app store has its own compliance too and if the app is not properly built up to their standards and policies, the app is not simply approved!

hopefully i can manage to challenge this decision.

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For the App Store distribution approvals, TN isn’t looking at this and having an app accepted means it joins the over 2 million apps already there.

Have you successfully claimed the R&D reliefs or just applied for it? It appears from what I see that it is only after successfully claiming it that it counts. Applications are “open”, so TN may be right on this.

Despite all of this you have nothing to loose when you appeal. Probably take a few days to step back and plan your best response for the appeal.

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yes my R&D application was approved.


Great! I believe it would help to emphasize this. All the best.

Hi @Maya been a minute.
How is the appeal?