Seeking Feedback on Exceptional Promise Visa Application

Hi everyone,

First of all, thank you to all the contributors for your invaluable insights on this forum. The shared experiences have been incredibly helpful as I prepare my application. I’m hoping to get some feedback on my draft application for the Exceptional Promise category, particularly focusing on the criteria I’m targeting and the evidence I plan to submit. I’m a final-year PhD student specializing in AI applications in autonomous vehicular communication. I have also recently launched a startup focused on last-mile delivery at the University of Warwick.

Recommendation Letters

  1. My PhD Supervisor
  2. Founder & CEO of a Global Learning & Education Business: My mentor at the University of Warwick
  3. Program Director in IBM: My startup mentor outside the university

Evidence Collection

Mandatory Criteria

Recognition as having potential to be a leading talent in the digital technology field in the last 5 years:

  • PhD at University of Warwick: Awarded full funding for the PhD program.
  • National Exceptional Talented Student: Recognition during my Bachelor’s degree in Iran.
  • Awards and Grants:
    • Winner - Warwick-Ford GearUp 2023: Last Mile Delivery Challenge.
    • £3,000 Lord Rootes Fund grant.
    • Reached Stage 2 of the MIT Clean Energy Prize International Competition.
    • Semifinalist, Clean Tech International Competition held by London Business School.
    • Accepted into the “Hydrogen Innovation Initiative” by Connected Places Catapult as a partner for last-mile delivery solutions.

Optional Criteria

OC1: Innovation as a founder or employee working on a new digital field or concept:

  • Startup Leadership: CEO & CTO of a startup focused on last-mile delivery solutions, incubated at the University of Warwick.
  • Project Involvement:
    • Developed a smart lighting system for room automation during my Bachelor’s degree.
    • Contributed to the European Automotive Intelligent Vehicles Project (Hi-Drive).
    • Participation in the Hydrogen Innovation Initiative: Demonstrates involvement in innovative and sustainable technology projects.
  • Publications:

OC3: Significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions to the field as a founder or employee of a product-led digital technology company:

  • Managerial Roles:
    • Directed ‘Battery Chargers and e-mobility’ projects for the CDT program at the University of Warwick.
  • Technical Contributions:
    • Developed algorithms and systems in vehicular communication and intelligent vehicle systems.
  • Projects:
    • CEO & CTO: Led technical development and overall management of a startup focused on last-mile delivery solutions.
    • Manager and Programmer: Developed smart lighting and line follower robot projects.

Supporting Evidence

  1. Recommendation Letters:
  2. Documentation of Awards and Grants:
  • Official letters or certificates of the grants and awards.
  1. Publications and Citations:
  • Copies of my published journal and conference papers.
  1. Project Documentation:
  • Detailed descriptions of projects with specific focus on my role and outcomes.
  1. Employment Contracts and Letters:
  • Contracts specifying roles, responsibilities, and contributions.
  • Letters from employers or project supervisors outlining impact and significance.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback or suggestions on my application, particularly on strengthening the evidence for the mandatory and optional criteria.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

I would really appreciate it if you could kindly give feedback on my application. @Francisca_Chiedu @pahuja

Hi @Pitter

  1. Can you please highlight your work experience in last 5 years? Is it not academic or have you worked at any company as well?

  2. When was the startup launched? Is it still operational? Does it have funding, team, product? Can you show quantifiable impact in terms of revenue, customers, etc?

Hi @pahuja ,

Thank you for your reply.

Regarding your first question, my primary focus over the last five years has been on academic work at the university. I have gained experience in project management and served as a teaching assistant. My most significant industrial experience is from my current part-time job at the university, where I have been involved in a European project in the automotive vehicle industry for the past seven months as programmer. Also, I would mention that I’m not graduated yet and this is the fourth year of my PhD.

In response to your second question, I launched my startup in January 2024 at the university incubator. Due to visa issues, I have been unable to officially register it. Despite this, I have secured two grants from the university and assembled a team comprising university graduates, including members focused on marketing and business operations. Additionally, I have a team of freelancers working on our website. Our startup recently joined a project led by Connected Catapult Places. The main obstacle preventing official operations and securing investors has been my visa situation. However, I can provide a letter from an investor indicating their willingness to invest. Do you think this letter would be helpful?

Thank you very much for your feedback and support.


  • You need to show impact in your evidences and not just work and projects. The impact these work & roles, positions have had is more important.
  • Same with your own startup as well. Need to show some impact, pipeline of customers, innovation, etc.

Thanks @pahuja

I appreciate your to-the-point and helpful feedback. Regarding my work experience as a programmer in industrial projects, teaching assistant roles, and university projects, I can provide letters from employers to demonstrate my contributions, as the projects have not yet finished.

For my startup, since I haven’t incorporated the business yet, I don’t have revenue or customers. However, I can provide a letter from Catapult Connected Places, confirming our participation in a national project. Additionally, I can share evidence of grants received and our progress in international competitions. I can also explain how my startup impacts job creation and CO2 emission reduction, and how we use AI and digital technology. Furthermore, I can include a link to my software in a document for them. Also I can provide a letter form university incubator to explain my progress and how our startup can be impactful in near future.

Do you think these are sufficient and acceptable pieces of evidence?

I’m really happy with how you directly and frankly provide feedback to help me improve my application.

Best regards,

Hi @Pitter

You can show milestones achieved by your projects in last 5 years and outcomes/impact at those milestones.

Hi @pahuja

Thank you very much for your response, and I apologize for the delay in getting back to you as I was away on a trip. I really appreciate the time you took to read my application and provide such thoughtful guidance.

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Good luck @Pitter keep us posted on how your application goes. Reach out if you need any help.

Hi @pahuja

Thank you! I will definitely keep you updated on my application progress. I appreciate your offer of help and will reach out if needed.

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