Application Review

Hello, kind people!

Wanted to get opinions regarding my upcoming application as an Exceptional Promise/Exceptional Talent (I’m still not sure which one is a better fit for me) Thanks in advance for looking at all that, any thoughts are very appreciated, and welcome.

Pieces of evidence

Mandatory Criteria: show that they have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector in the last 5 years.

  • Evidence 1: (2015 - 2019) I’ve worked for a big international hedge fund (>$10B AUM) for a few years. HF manages money algorithmically, so I was creating algorithms that produce trading strategies in a researcher consultant role (it’s just the name of my position, I was not a consultant in fact). Planning to attach six-number-figure bonus proof for my best year over there.
  • Evidence 2: (2019 - Present) For the last 3 years I’ve been working as a freelancer at Upwork. I have many successfully accomplished contracts with 5-star satisfaction from clients and good reviews. Plus 100% “Job Success” score and “Top Rated Plus” badge. Total yearly earnings are significant (6 numbers figure). Planning to attach screenshots of all that and link to my profile. It’s not consultancy work, I had a full-time position.
  • Evidence 3: (2021 - Present) During the last year I’m working in a DeFi startup. The goal of the startup is to create new protocols, which enable users to manage financial risks in a brand new fashion. There was a successful sale of the first protocol (>$10M raised) and we are currently working on a new one. Going to attach a description of the job, include a link to the web app (which I’ve designed/created, which demonstrates the functionality of the protocol; two white papers (not from Journals, but from Company’s website); press articles
  • Evidence 4. A reference letter from CTO of the DeFi startup

Optional Criteria 1: a proven track record for innovation as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company or as an employee working on a new digital field or concept

  • Evidence 5: I have a lot of awards from the hedge fund (mentioned in 1). One of them actually states that I’m “Best Innovator”, but it’s 5 years and 4 months old, could it still work?
  • Evidence 3, 4: there will also be stated my contribution with a focus on innovations, which I’ve done during creation of new protocol (planning to create one evidence and specifying multiple criteria if I’m able to fit in 3 pages)
  • Evidence 6: In 2020 I worked as a data scientist in the Search Engine Marketing industry. My innovation is an AI algo, which manages funds across different Advertising Campaigns. Planning to attach a reference letter from the CEO, proof of Github commits, their website where it’s stated that they are a “next-generation Google Ads solution” and their clients include Fortune 50 Companies, and Venture-backed Startups

Optional Criteria 3: they have made 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

  • Evidence 3, 4 stating my impact on the product specifically in the reference letter (4) and showing that I’ve done most of the code and that the amount of investments in the project was increased because of the work I’ve done.
  • Evidence 6 stating that the algo I created increased marketing efficiency for a few clients, providing the numbers.
    The company is a Marketing Agency, not a product-led digital technology company; it talks about innovatively utilizing AI on the website’s main page, so I think it’s “extremely focused on product innovation in a specific industry”, but I’m not sure how to prove that it’s well-recognized for their contributions to that industry


  • LOR from CSO of the hedge fund which I worked for
  • LOR from CEO of the DEFI startup which I work for
  • LOR from Senior ML specialist in the International company. He is going to tell about my mentorship in the hedge fund and my recognition over there. I’m not sure if it fits the criteria, because although he’s now a senior member of his organization, he was not when we worked together, and he was my colleague.

@francisca_chiedu @mclarenf1 @westside @4rmSlum2uk
Sorry for tagging, but could you please kindly review my application? I value your competence a lot!

All your evidence are related to your work. "A ‘leader’ of exceptional talent (or promise) must show extraordinary ability by sustained (or emerging) national or international recognition’. How does your evidence show you have been recognised as a talent? Internal company award are not recognised. You need to read the examples in the tech nation guide, outside your employment, you don’t seem to have evidence that shows external validation of your contribution. Your evidence are mostly reference letters, according to Tech Nation guide, "Letters of Reference alone are not sufficient and should be supported by other evidence


Thanks for the review!

  1. “Letters of Reference alone are not sufficient and should be supported by other evidence”: this corresponds to OC2, but I’ve chosen OC1 и OC3. Besides reference letters I have my Upwork profile, proof of affiliation to the product, which I’ve developed, and publications about it.
  2. Internal company awards are submitted to OC1, it’s told they are not sufficient at MC
  3. “outside your employment, you don’t seem to have evidence that shows external validation of your contribution”. That obviously an essential one for OC2, generally I don’t see in the guide that recognition should be outside of my occupation (plus two proofs mentioned in 1 look external to me).

Please let me know if I’m missing something.

I think the unspoken criteria for MC leans towards having evidence outside of one’s day-to-day. Just my view about it which has matured over time.

Focusing on the impact of the projects themselves is a good thing in my opinion. Also if you can present the screenshots in addition to a reference letter from any of the project stakeholders that is a leader in the digital tech space that may be a plus. Showing leadership is somehow related to “who” has “what” to say about your work. It may not have to be a reference letter.

Your OC3 looks good to me (don’t take me too seriously). The marketing agency may not be a problem as long as you emphasise the fact that the digital product they are using benefits heavily from your personal contribution. Let’s see what opinions other platform members may have.

I think this is fine as long as the letter meets the other requirements (on company letter head etc.).

What Francisca is saying is that though certain things are stated in the guide they still serve well as a rule of thumb in other areas as well. Your interpretation cannot be said to be wrong as well.

Just my thoughts. Just want to help as best I think I can. Happy to be wrong as long as you get what you want.


Upwork is seen a work as a consultant. Several assessment feedback I have seen suggests that the reference letter remark is generally applied to all criteria. For MC you have to show national or international recognition of you been a leader in the field, internal company award is not enough to show that. At the end of the day, use your interpretation of the guide, I am only giving my thoughts based on feedback from unsuccessful application.


Based on the examples of evidences in the TN guide.
Can you summarise based on the example each of the your evidence falls under


  • Evidence 1: (2015 - 2019) I’ve worked for a big international hedge fund (>$10B AUM) for a few years. HF manages money algorithmically, so I was creating algorithms that produce trading strategies in a researcher consultant role (it’s just the name of my position, I was not a consultant in fact). Planning to attach six-number-figure bonus proof for my best year over there.

One could say the above falls under

  • *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. *

So if you do this, hope your evidences distinctly meet an example.

So, there are 10 MC examples, how many of it do your 4 evidences clearly meet?

My observation so far is that the evidences should cut across many examples (not all, also not one example)

I mean there shouldn’t be 4 evidences talking about code only (they will likely still regard it as one type of evidence) and therefore judge that your evidences are not enough, that is when they’d say you don’t have public speaking as expected of a leader, or that they expect you have external validation (which is expected if you do work outside of your employment…another evidence example)

I also strongly advise you find someone who you’ve not worked for to write in support of any of the evidence examples (this will count as external validation, Ive seen multiple rejections on this, especially for people applying for talent)

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In my opinion, I think this ( national or international recognition) is one example out of the 10, and I’ve not seen where it state it must be one of the examples.

My interpretation is that you pick some of the examples (it may be safe to select at least 4 distinct examples out of the 10 as evidences)

I may be incorrect, but my inference is from the hundreds of cases I’ve read in this forum.

Please note, I’m also still in the process of Application too. So don’t take my opinion too serious yet

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I think the same way also.
But I’d advise you make room in your document to explain all these points.
Don’t wait till they flag your application.

Explain and answer every possible objections your application may have

But whether its stated or not, I don’t think there’s anyway your evidences cut across the various examples and you won’t need to bring someone external to say something about you.

So I’d rather say you compare each of your evidences to the criteria examples of MC and OCs and be sure multiple evidences are not pointing to same criteria example


@La_Rochelle When I applied for my endorsement I specified as “Exceptional Promise” with the justification that I have only worked for less than 5 years on that particular topic.

When you submit your application, if the TN Officer deems your application to be Exceptional Talent based on the evidence that you have provided then they will automatically endorse you for Talent rather than Promise. So, justify why you have chosen one category (Promise/Talent) over the other.

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Thanks a lot for your thoughts and clarifications!
And yeah it definitely makes sense to look at the requirements from other criteria as a rule of thumb.

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Hard to agree on Upwork, since many people (myself included) work on one contract for more than a year.
Yup, I see, your feedback is warmly welcome!

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Yaay! Thanks for the great effort explaining all that!
Having diversification among evidences is a really nice point.

Cool! Will keep that in mind.

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There’s an issue with my point above, and I feel it’s fair I point it out.

@Francisca_Chiedu statement is correct and I was wrong in that aspect
#really don’t know how many times I’ll have to read the guide to keep discovering new stuff.

Check this :point_down:

So, @La_Rochelle please take note.

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Of course! That’s helpful