Tag Archives: Innovator Founder Visa

Innovator Founder Visa Changing?

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Many wonder whether the current Innovator Founder Visa policy will change under the new Labour government in the UK. This is a question that only time will answer. However, I will outline some areas where change ought to be made. These proposed changes will ensure that the Innovator Founder Visa policy is robust and creates an attractive entrepreneurial ecosystem for international entrepreneurs.  None of the content in this article, website or my services constitute immigration advice or services. For immigration assistance, please refer to a regulated solicitor or immigration advisor. Before I highlight the potential areas of change to the Innovator Founder Visa regime, let me briefly describe this visa.  I previously wrote an article and made a video on the flaws of the Innovator Founder visa policy, which you can read here.  What is the Innovator Founder Visa?  The Innovator Founder Visa is an immigration pathway designed for international entrepreneurs who may wish to set up an innovative business in the UK.  Please refer to the UK Government website for full information about this visa.  How should the Innovator Founder Visa policy change? There are several areas in which the Innovator Founder policy ought to change.  An overview of the changes that I deem to be beneficial are: Let’s look at each one in more detail: Innovation One of the common issues I have observed since the launch of this visa is the innovation requirement and its interpretation.  The “issue” with this requirement is that no specific factor determines innovation. For instance, patentability / Intellectual Property (IP), and no trade marks do not fall under this category. However, the problem with setting this as an absolute requirement is that many businesses, despite being innovative, cannot obtain patents. Thus, this would exclude a considerable number of founders and their businesses.  Although this is a common problem, there is no clear fix either.  Currently, determining innovation is subjective and up to each Endorsing Body to determine.  Visa Fees This is sadly a problem that many founders are unhappy about.  There are several costs associated with this visa, which are: With the first cost, the Endorsing Bodies have to charge applicants as this fee enables them to sustain their operations. However, the visa processing fee, payable to the UK government can be lowered. This is especially true when looking at other countries such as the Netherlands, where a similar visa costs around €380, in contrast to £1,191 for this visa. However, it is important to state that the Dutch self-employment visa only lasts for one year and has to be renewed.  Nevertheless, given the lower number of applicants for the Innovator Founder Visa, in contrast to other visa routes such as the Skilled Worker pathway, it is sensible to consider lowering this fee.  The Endorsing Bodies Firstly, allow me to clarify that this is not to criticise the current Endorsing Bodies. However, I believe that a higher number of Endorsing Bodies means more options for founders and additional sector-specific expertise.  However, a potential issue that may arise from increasing the number of Endorsing Bodies is a potential conflict of interest between them.  But looking at other countries such as Canada, we notice that applicants have more choices when it comes to third-party approval. With Canada in particular, founders have the option to either raise investment from VCs, or angel investors or enrol in incubation programs (but they do come with a cost).  These are some of the areas in which the Innovator Founder visa policy may be reviewed and potentially changed.  I have made a video on this topic as well, which you can view below: f you require business assistance as an international founder, have a look at my services designed for founders wishing to set up a business in the UK here.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

Innovator Founder Visa: Pros & Cons

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The UK’s Innovator Founder visa was launched in 2023 as a pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the UK. The visa and its requirements have substantially changed from its predecessor, the Innovator visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme   If you are considering the UK’s Innovator Founder visa, then it is sensible to make a full evaluation. As a former migrant entrepreneur and business consultant working with people navigating the business immigration journey, I will seek to highlight the pros and cons of this visa.  Innovator Founder Visa Pros  Suitable for scalable businesses  The Innovator Founder visa requirements emphasize scalability. As such, if your business is scalable, or is already at traction stage, then this visa may be suitable.  Pathway to permanent residence & UK citizenship This visa offers two pathways for settlement (permanent residence) in the UK: three years or five years.   In comparison to other countries such as the UAE, this may be a desirable aspect for some.   The UK’s global position The UK is among the easiest countries in the world to start a business in.   Although due to recent legislation by the Companies House, there are now additional requirements and compliance protocols for setting up a company in the UK.   The multicultural landscape of the UK, as well as English being the spoken language may be an advantage to some international entrepreneurs.   Secondary employment The current Innovator Founder visa permits paid employment alongside the applicant’s business. This may be a beneficial option for some international founders. Innovator Founder Visa Cons  Strict business & endorsement requirements The selection process for the Innovator Founder visa which is through an endorsement from one of the four designated Endorsing Bodies is strict.   There are several requirements that your business must meet, as well as the founder/founding team meeting a certain skills level.   Less Endorsing Bodies There are now only 4 endorsing bodies in contrast to 65 under the previous Innovator visa pathway. This leaves applicants with less choice and a lower margin of error.   Personally, I support the view that a larger selection of Endorsing Bodies will facilitate additional sector-specific expertise.   May be expensive for some There are several costs involved, and these exclude any additional help from third parties such as a business consultant (me) or an immigration advisor/solicitor.   Minimum budget required: £5000 to £10,000 (this does not include the funds for your business). The initial costs are: Endorsement: £1200 Visa Application Fee: £1,191 (outside the UK) or £1486 (inside the UK) NHS Health Surcharge: ££1,035 per year To help my clients/ Innovator Founder visa applicants, I offer an idea assessment service. This will involve assessing your idea and the provision of expert feedback to reduce the chances of your endorsement being rejected.   Economic uncertainty Global events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis, Brexit and COVID-19 have left a painful mark on the UK’s economy.   This is evident in several contexts such as the Cost-of-Living Crisis.  Additionally, with the 2025 General Election coming up, it is reasonable to expect dramatic policy shifts, indicating economic uncertainty. These are some of the pros and cons of the Innovator Founder visa. Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses. Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services.

Innovator Founder Visa Rejection | 4 reasons

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The risk of an Innovator Founder visa rejection is on the rise. This is not a surprise as the new visa, in contrast to the former Innovator visa, now permits applicants to engage in paid employment. As such, this has led to increased interest and demand for the Innovator Founder visa.  Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services. In addition to increased demand, the current Innovator Founder visa can only be endorsed by 4 Endorsing Bodies, a far smaller number than the previous visa. As a business consultant working with international entrepreneurs, I have come across Innovator Founder visa rejection cases that relate to the endorsement stage. Moreover, I have also actively monitored the Innovator Founder visa’s rejections. These are 3 common reasons why your Innovator Founder visa endorsement application may be rejected.  1. Your idea is not innovative   As you may be aware, there are 3 key factors that Endorsing Bodies assess when considering endorsement applications, which are: Let’s talk about the innovation aspect first. Technically speaking, your idea/business should: 2. Your business is not viable  Notice that I did not use the word “idea” in the heading above?  The “viability” aspect refers to “you”, the founder/founding team. The core requirement is whether you have the skills and competencies to start and scale the business or not. Thus, factors such as your professional experience or qualifications will be relevant.  3. Your idea is not scalable Put simply: what is the vision for your business? How far will it go? How much money will it make? You may have a unique concept and have the personal skills to launch the business, but how big will the business get? If your business cannot scale nationally or internationally, it may be one of the reasons for a rejection of your Innovator Founder visa endorsement. 4. You bought a bad Innovator Founder visa business plan  I write business plans for my clients (up to a limit, as they take a lot of time and I write each plan myself). Therefore, I am aware that many founders will seek the help of external parties for their business plan. Sadly, the market is now full of business plan writers who simply either use ChatGPT, or hire people with no experience in business to write a low-quality plan.  This is why I have introduced a service to coach and mentor founder to writer their own business plan. I understand that for some, it may be necessary to have somebody else communicate their business.  However, writing your own business plan will give you more confidence in presenting it, and it will also improve several skills such as writing and design. And do not worry, I will help you with ALL of that.  These are some common reasons behind an Innovator Founder Visa rejection at the endorsement stage. Remember, do not trust every company or person to be in charge of your business ideas and endorsement application, unless you can verify their credentials. Even then, you should make sure that you are aware of every aspect and stage of the business plan whilst it is written.  Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

Advisory Programs now LIVE

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In today’s dynamic business landscape, personalized guidance and support are invaluable assets on the path to success. Recognizing the diverse needs of individuals and enterprises, my tailored advisory programs are designed to empower migrants, founders, and enterprise alike. Let’s delve into how these programs can unlock potential, foster growth, and drive innovation. Empowering Founders Entrepreneurship is a journey fraught with challenges and opportunities. The programs equip founders with the tools and insights they need. Whether to navigate the complexities of employment or scaling a venture. From refining business models to accessing funding and market expansion strategies, I work hand-in-hand with founders to turn visions into reality. With personalised mentorship and actionable guidance, I empower founders to build resilient and impactful businesses. Empowering Migrants For migrants navigating new territories, my advisory programs offer a roadmap to prosperity. From navigating cultural nuances to accessing opportunities, I provide personalised strategies and mentorship to facilitate integration and success. By harnessing individual strengths and aspirations, I help migrants to thrive in their new environments and contribute meaningfully to society. Empowering Enterprise Innovation lies at the heart of every successful enterprise. The advisory programs offer tailored solutions to drive innovation, growth, and competitive advantage. Whether it’s optimizing operations, exploring new markets, or fostering a culture of innovation, I partner with enterprises to unlock their full potential. Through strategic guidance and implementation support, I enable enterprises to stay ahead of the curve and seize opportunities in an ever-evolving marketplace. At the core of my advisory programs lies a commitment to empowerment, growth, and impact. By tailoring my approach to the unique needs of migrants, founders, and enterprise, I unlock new possibilities and drive sustainable success. Join me on this transformative journey and unlock your full potential today! About My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats.I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme (similar to the current Start-Up Visa). Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (which was replaced by the Innovator Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other entrepreneurs start their businesses.

Don’t make this mistake with Business and Startup Visas

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Business and startup visas and international entrepreneurs are what and who I deal with on a daily basis. As someone who has embarked on the path of business visas as a foreign entrepreneur, I have learned a few lessons. Disclaimer: none of the content in this article, or website, constitute immigration advice in any shape or form. For professional immigration advice, please refer to a regulated immigration advisor or solicitor. If you are an international entrepreneur considering applying for a business or startup visa, there are quite a few things to consider. This may be one of the biggest challenges with foreign entrepreneurs. Starting a business is always hard work; add it to navigating immigration rules and you are bound to get things wrong.  As such, in this article, I seek to prevent foreign entrepreneurs from making ONE fatal mistake, and that is underestimating the requirements of business and startup visas.  Business & Startup visas may come with ongoing requirements Remember that under many visa paths such as the UK’s Innovator Founder Visa, there are ongoing milestones that founders must meet.  In other words, getting a business or startup visa is just the beginning.  Where do founders get it wrong? With the above in mind, founders usually underestimate startup and business visa requirements by either: These two mistakes can end up costing you money, time, energy and your health. It is vital that founders who consider startup and business visas are aware of this reality.  Startup and business visas are not the means to obtain long-term residency/citizenship.  It may be in certain countries, but it certainly is not the case with the UK’s Innovator Founder Visa.  Remember to assess everything from a “business” perspective, rather than a “residency/immigration” one.  What if residency is your goal? Entrepreneurship is not everyone’s forté, and I am not judging you for that.  Perhaps you do wish to invest in commercial projects whilst obtaining an additional residency or citizenship. In these cases, it is better to consider residency or citizenship by investment programs offered by several countries across the world.  Do not pursue a business or startup visa if your main priority is residency. Running a business has many uncertainties, and it should always be done for the purpose of generating profit unless we are speaking of non-profits.  Any other goal is foundationally wrong for doing so.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

What moving abroad alone as a 17-year-old immigrant taught me

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I will always consider myself an “immigrant”, partly because I refuse any negative connotation in relation to this term; I was born and raised in Iran. At the age of 17, I packed my entire life and got on a plane to the UK in pursuit of further education, all alone.  Well, every story starts somewhere, and my immigration story began shortly after I finished High School in Iran. Initially, I moved to Manchester on a student visa to attend college/pre-university preparation. My educational journey came to an end when I was 22 and obtained my master’s degree in law from Newcastle University.  Shortly after, I developed a business idea based on my experience with renting accommodation as an international student, which later became StudyFlats. This idea was supported by Newcastle University and got me a 1-year visa as a graduate international entrepreneur.  Subsequently, I obtained a three-year visa (which led to my settlement after it ended). During this period, I scaled StudyFlats to over 30 UK cities, hired a team of four and managed a global client base across property sites around the UK.  Going through the business immigration journey was one of the most difficult journeys that I could embark on. It profoundly changed my worldview, self-perspective and professional skill set.  There are some big lessons that I learnt along the way. My hope is for these to resonate with others experiencing the same hardships or learning curve, and to raise awareness of the immigration narrative from an entrepreneurial and personal perspective.  You are at a disadvantage, in many things… Yes, this is a fact, nor is this some “woke/snowflake” rant. Racism, discrimination and prejudice exist in the UK. They can be witnessed within many fabrics of the society, such as: -Housing -Employment  -Healthcare  -Media  Of course, each person’s experience is unique. One individual may only encounter discrimination and racism in one area but not necessarily in another.  The argument is that discrimination exists and it can become a professional and personal barrier. Personally, I may have been lucky or privileged to not experience many of these. However, the journey of being an immigrant certainly taught me about what discrimination looks like. You think more about the world  One side effect of a multinational and global personal perspective is that it forces you to think more.  You compare different nations and question how and why they come to differ. This will lead to even more questions.  How did they come to differ? What differentiates the two societies and the way they are administered?  These are examples of questions that you may have, and it’s a good thing.  These questions, and comparative outlook, will contribute to your growth and level of knowledge.  The question of “identity” This is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being an immigrant, or you could also say a “global citizen”.  Once you spend long enough in another country/ your new “home”, you will undergo a series of changes.  After a while, it just seems like you don’t fully belong anywhere. Your identity is now a reflection of different, and sometimes contrasting, viewpoints.  Whilst inconvenient, such experiences will either make or break you.  These are some of the things that I learnt as an immigrant who moved to the UK alone at the age of 17…Now I help other aspiring global citizens start their businesses abroad. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats which I scaled to over 30 UK cities. I currently help other entrepreneurs and businesses of all size across several domains. For my credentials, please see here.

What you should NOT do when writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan

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Writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan can be challenging. That’s one of the reasons why many international founders opt to work with me on their Innovator Founder visa business plan.  This article solely represents a case of personal evaluation and opinion. It shall by no means constitute immigration and/or professional advice. If you plan to apply for the Innovator Founder visa, you must prepare a business plan. I have previously written an article about how to create an Innovator Founder visa business plan. In this article, I want to share some tips on writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan. Specifically, I will be highlighting things that you should NOT do when you are planning your venture.  Remember: the perfect business plan does not boil down to being well-written or well-designed (although these are also essential). Writing the ideal Innovator Founder visa business plan requires a well-thought, viable and clear business proposition.  These tips will help you in formulating both your business plan, as well as some of the fundamental aspects of your business planning.  Overpromise  This is one of the biggest mistakes made by founders. Sadly, international entrepreneurs are not exempt either.  And it’s easy to understand why: you want to present the “ideal” image for your concept, whether it’s to the Innovator Founder Endorsing Bodies, the Home Office or even investors. However, this is a dangerous mistake, especially if you are held accountable for making progress against your initial Innovator Founder visa business plan.  Underestimate your competition & market dynamics In line with the last point, some founders also underestimate their market and competition.  This may be done either intentionally, to present an inaccurate/idealistic image of the market, or unintentionally as a result of personal neglect.  Overestimate your offer This is an advice that you may not get from many consultants.  Remember: simplicity is key. Keep everything as simple and straightforward as possible. Don’t write pages and pages about why your product is ideal and what it does. Instead, dedicate your content to presenting evidence of your venture and the market’s viability.  Neglect the financials  Cash flow and financial management are integral to every business. You must plan for and state all instances of incoming and outgoing cash flow.  Have a plan B for every scenario and determine the financial implications of all scenarios.  Need help with writing your Innovator Founder visa business plan? Read about my full services here to find out more.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

Is the “innovation” requirement of the Innovator Founder visa flawed? | Policy Analysis

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This article solely represents a case of personal evaluation and opinion. It shall by no means constitute immigration and/or professional advice. Policymakers are particularly invited to engage with this content and communicate their views accordingly.  The innovation factor is a core and integral element of the Innovator Founder visa policy. However, is this requirement flawed? In this article, I will highlight the potential drawbacks and flaws of the innovation requirement.  Unlike the former UK business visa schemes such as the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme, the Innovator Founder visa policy has emphasised innovation as a key element. On the surface, this may appear to be an appropriate shift in the interest of attracting high-quality businesses and entrepreneurs to the UK. However, a closer examination reveals certain flaws.  What is the innovation requirement under the Innovator Founder visa? Per the Innovator Founder visa policy, innovation is a key benchmark for applicant assessment and determining their suitability.  Each applicant’s business (idea) must satisfy the following three criteria: The wording of the Home Office defines innovation as the following: “The applicant must have a genuine, original business plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage” This wording is referencing the Home Office’s policy guidance for its staff, dated 7th December 2023.  Innovation: a sound requirement in theory  Now, it is important to note that the innovation requirement is not theoretically incorrect or inappropriate.  It is my view that any nation should be able to determine its rules for immigration pathways.  Furthermore, the innovation requirement ensures the quality of applicants and their ventures under the Innovator Founder visa.  Therefore, I believe that the requirement in itself may be valuable in principle. However, similar to many other policies, there is a distinction between “theoretically valuable” and “practical”. Innovation: problem in practice? Now that we have established that the innovation factor is logical on a theoretical basis, let’s look at it in practice.  The innovation’s foundation is, theoretically, based on the following: Interpretation of innovation  The first issue with the innovation requirement is the Home Office’s wording in its definition of it.  By the usage of “new” or “existing” (with emphasis on “or”), it is feasible to argue that innovation can apply to businesses that target an existing market, hence the emphasis on the creation of competitive advantage.  However, this raises a further issue. What is interpreted as “competitive advantage” in the case of an “existing” market? The issue with this policy is a generalistic use of the term “competitive advantage” without outlining what it entails in detail.  And the world of entrepreneurship is full of important details.  Ultimately, we notice that this is interpreted by each endorsing body through its assessment protocols.  For instance, I have come to notice that one of these endorsing bodies referred to intellectual property (IP) protection as a determining factor (names not disclosed for anonymity) However, again, this means that there is a lack of consensus, thorough definition and clear measurement metrics as to how “competitive advantage” over an “existing” market vs. a “new market” is defined. The importance of policy wording You may assume that I am reading too far into these terms. However, any legitimate policymaker must understand the considerable implications of how policies are worded. In the case of the Innovator Founder visa, we are talking about 1000s of applicants.  I am not a policymaker nor a legal professional, despite holding a master’s degree in international law. In case you are interested, you may see my resume for more information.  However, allow me to tell you this based on my law postgraduate thesis that the wording of international legislation such as the United Nations Security Council, and specifically Article 51 of the UN Charter, governs how international warfares are determined as legal or in violation of international law. The mere usage of the conjunction of “or” in this article has been crucial in the assessment of several international and domestic conflicts. Thus, with the above as an example, a sound policy evaluation must outline the potential practical flaws of policies, as is the aim of this article.  The first issue is the Home Office’s lack of clarity in its definition of innovation, especially concerning new versus existing markets which are inherently different from each other. Many ideas face current market players The nature of business in our modern world reflects growing technological advancements. The Internet alone, and the online nature of commerce, have radically shifted the nature of enterprise solutions.  With the aforementioned, there is the consequence of increased competition in virtually any field.  The latter alone also reflects the lesser barriers to entry to the market, for instance, due to the Internet. This is also reflected in the case of businesses that apply for the Innovator Founder visa. It is a reality that most ideas will have to fall under the “existing market” definition.  Innovation = IP? The preceding points raise the question of whether intellectual property protection is the ultimate defining factor.  And as a business professional, I am bound to agree that this would be the most reasonable view. At least that is my interpretation of it. Additionally, an Innovator Founder visa endorsing body has made particular reference to intellectual property protection. Therefore,  we may reasonably assume the priority importance of this factor. This again, reflects the lack of any clarity from the Home Office on interpreting competitive advantage. Nevertheless, we will adopt the view that IP protection would be a key factor in assessing innovation.  And by IP protection, we are mainly referring to patents, as many can simply file for a trade mark.  However, patents can take years to be granted, especially if there is a dispute. In this case, we are assuming that the applicant does have sufficient personal network and resources to embark on such a life. By this, we can see that such immigration restrictions deter and discourage high-net-worth individuals who are facing major challenges with their ventures. They would certainly not want to…

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How to come up with an Innovator Founder visa business idea

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One of the questions that I keep getting from inquiries is “How do I come up with an Innovator Founder visa business idea?”Therefore, writing an article on this subject may be useful for many of you who are interested in this path. Disclaimer: none of the content in this article, or website, constitute immigration advice in any shape or form. For professional immigration advice, please refer to a regulated immigration advisor or solicitor. First and foremost, it is important to note that the current immigration rules on the Innovator Founder visa require the applicant to have come up with the business idea themselves. This is reflected in page 4 of the case worker guide for the Innovator Founder visa by the Home Office.  Therefore, it is important to note neither I nor any other compliant individual and/or entity shall provide you with a business idea. Any party that does so will be violating the immigration rules. Thus, be wary of any person or company that offers a “business idea for sale”.  However, if you do have a business idea, I am certainly able to help you with identifying the strengths and weaknesses of that idea. As the UK’s number one business consultant for corporate immigration, I possess the knowledge and experience that will enable me to swiftly identify the key flaws of your business proposal.  In this article, I will provide brief guidance via several starting points that will help you come up with a business idea. Therefore, this is a short “manual” and “how to guide” for coming up with any (practical) business idea, irrespective of the objective.  Start with a problem (statement) The majority (not all) of successful business ideas are based on problem-solving. Some may not necessarily solve a problem but rather improve how a problem is solved.   Hence, your starting point can be the creation of a problem statement sheet.  Get your pen and paper out (or open a Word document) and start brainstorming. Think of the following: Research the market  Once you have identified an (unsolved) problem, your next step is to engage in market research. In the case of an Innovator Founder visa business idea, this will be the UK market.  This will most likely be a time-consuming process, and you must do it correctly.  Your market research should ideally consist of both primary and secondary research.  Check out this guide by Hubspot, which I have found to be very comprehensive for this part.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses as an individual  Once you have identified a problem, and the solution based on market research and validation, you should then analyse your individual skills profile. Consider the following: These 3 steps should help you get started on developing an Innovator Founder visa business idea  Once you do develop your business idea, I would then advise you to obtain my feedback on your business idea. I will evaluate your Innovator Founder visa business idea within a reasonable timeframe and at a reasonable cost.  Remember, business ideas require “business expertise”. Therefore, it is important to seek the right guidance (which is where I will be able to help). Already have a business idea? Book an initial consultation with me for a thorough evaluation. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

Innovator Founder Visa | Policy Analysis

Just over a month ago, I created a YouTube video exploring the policy flaws of the UK’s Innovator Founder visa. This article is essentially a reflection of the same video, highlighting three fundamental policy flaws surrounding the Innovator Founder visa requirements.  *Please note that this content is merely a reflection of my personal opinion and evaluation and does not constitute immigration advice in any shape or form. If you are seeking immigration advice, please refer to OISC to find a registered immigration advisor/solicitor.* According to the UK Government’s website, the Innovator Founder visa allows international entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the UK. Full details of the visa rules can be found HERE.  The purpose of this article, however, is not to outline the general information about this visa. I have written this blog post to: –Highlight the flaws that other founders may resonate with; –To draw the attention of policymakers towards the anticipated flaws of the Innovator Founder visa and how it may potentially harm the UK in the short and long term So, let’s explore the flaws of the Innovator Founder visa policy. The low number of Innovator Founder visa endorsing bodies  This is perhaps the major weakness of the Innovator Founder visa policy.  This is especially the case when one takes a comparative evaluation between this visa path and its predecessor, the Innovator visa.  There are currently 3 endorsing bodies overseeing all applications made under the Innovator Founder visa pathway. This excludes the Global Entrepreneurs Programme (GEP) which is administered by the Department for Business and Trade. The aforementioned is in contrast to over 20 endorsing bodies that had the authority to issue endorsements for the former Innovator visa. Moreover, the previous endorsing bodies included well-established and reputable accelerators such as Founders Factory. To summarise the key issues in relation to the number of endorsing bodies: High endorsement & visa fees  Another major issue which may discourage many prospective applicants is the high visa fees associated with this visa pathway.  Let’s look at the initial costs associated with the Innovator Founder visa (and these are for single applicants only): As you see, you are paying a minimum of £3000 to simply make an application under this visa pathway.  By setting such high fees, the UK Government has failed to consider the long-term economic contribution of international entrepreneurs to the UK.  Not applicable to all The Innovator Founder visa is likely to not be applicable to every single founder. And the manner in which this is evident is through the three key business idea requirements, which are: Whilst on the surface, the abovestated factors may seem appropriate, they are not practical in action.  For instance, the viability requirement may only be evident once a business actually begins trading. Yet, this visa is also aimed at entrepreneurs who wish to “set up” their business in the UK. Another instance where the lack of applicability of this visa path is reflected is the removal of the former Startup and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas. These visa routes were specifically aimed at founders who were to set up their business in the UK. Personally, I underwent the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur route myself under the endorsement of Newcastle University.  Currently, the Innovator Founder visa is a mashup of all founders, from all backgrounds and regardless of their business nature/stage.  Final notes  Entrepreneurship is fundamentally unpredictable and involves a core element of risk. Combining this with stringent and unfeasible immigration requirements does not provide an optimal outcome for any stakeholder. Moreover, it will only serve to weaken the UK’s global position as an entrepreneurial hub.  I appreciate that policymakers ought to ensure that genuine and innovative migrants move to the UK. Nevertheless, policies should be drafted in such a manner that involves a thorough comprehension of entrepreneurship and also mitigates the risk between the government and international entrepreneurs.  Need help with the Innovator Founder visa? I am the UK’s #1 & leading business consultant for international entrepreneurs. Whilst I do not provide immigration advice, I am able to assist in multiple areas such as drafting your Innovator Founder visa business plan.  For a full overview of my services, please refer to my homepage here.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme (similar to the current Start-Up Visa). Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses, and mainly with obtaining endorsements from the endorsing bodies.

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