Exceptional Talent: Review my application + Few questions [URGENT]

I’m planning to apply for the exceptional talent route. Here’s the evidence I gathered so far. Let me know your feedback.

LOR1: General Partner at a Tech VC firm who invested in my startup
LOR2: Founding Partner at a fintech VC firm and previous VP level at a well-known fortune 500 digital company. He served as a board member in my startup.
LOR3: COO at a big tech company, ex-Google & Apple


  • Document 1 - News Clippings: I led the product development of a tech startup and led the company successful exit to a US company as evidenced by news clipping from famous online newspapers
  • Document 2 - Public Recognition: I spoke at multiple tech startups events and received recognition for helping my startup raise several investment rounds, Evidence includes: screenshots of me speaking at the event, estimate of attendance, screenshot of the invitation letter, news clipping about our investment round and mentioning my name, screenshot and links from an award for outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship
  • Document 3: I command a high salary, and equity options. Evidence includes: employment contract, bank statement indicating bonuses, equity certificate showcasing my stock options

OC1: Innovation

  • Document 4: Startup articles of association
  • Document 5: Startup audited financials
  • Document 6: Explain innovations I’ve done on the product level showing we were the first in market to take a specific approach which eventually led to the company getting acquired. Include product screenshots and traction data
  • Document 7: Reference letter from the acquiring company explaining how our product was different from what’s in the market and that was the main reason for the acquisition

OC3: Impact

  • Document 8: I led the product development of my startup and orchestrated the successful exit. Evidence: news clipping mentioning the acquisition showcasing that it’s the best success story in our region + screenshot from the shareholder resolution proving the acquisition
  • Document 9: The products i built and it’s impact on the business, screenshots from financials showing revenue impact

What do you think of the evidence so far? Any advice?

Also, I have a few questions:

  • For recommendation letter signing, I will use Docusign, should I include the certificate of completion that shows the IP or it’s not that important? If so did you combine them using other software like adobe?
  • Part of the financial documents are not in English, so I will get it translated. Are there any specific requirements for the translations? how to ensure it’s a certified one? P.S. I’m not based in the UK.
  • My startup had 2 subsidiary companies to operate in local markets, should I include official documents to show the relationship or the articles of association of the parent one is enough?
  • None of my recommendation letters are from people working in the UK. Does this matter? I know people in the UK who pass the criteria for recommendation letter but we haven’t worked that much together so I won’t guarantee the quality of that letter.

Thanks a lot for your help and support

Appreciate your help. Thanks! cc @Francisca_Chiedu @musman2012 @May

Strong profile! My thoughts:

I would move the startup audited financials to OC3, which I think your OC3 seems thinner on evidence than the other 2 criteria (or at least the documents seem too similar to the other evidences submitted for the other criteria). I would make sure to include more evidence about your specific contributions (product wise) and link that to the financial impact, rather than only showing financial results or acquisitions.

I would advise including a local comparison (e.g. what percentile is your salary compared with the local salaries in your region?)

I included this in my application, I just combined the Certificate of Completion using Preview on mac. I believe it is suggested/required per the guide.

I would say it’s important you articulate WHY the UK and detail your plans in the UK, I see you didn’t include information about your 1000 word statement, that would be a good place to do that. Make sure the recommenders state your expected positive impact in the UK and address the letters to tech nation, noting that the letter is specifically for the purpose of your application for endorsement.

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Thanks a lot @yeshellohi … Great points.
I will be talking more on why the UK in my personal statement. I have a good network in the UK, I’m planning to start something in fintech.

For the talent route, is there a preferred number of stories/evidence to prove great track record for each criteria?

Quick question- cant he go ahead to submit without the docusign and COC? The TN guideline states:

Letters of recommendation can be created using a digital signature service (such as DocuSign or similar service), enabling the inclusion of the document log file that clearly indicates the letter’s author and signature originated from a different IP address to the applicant. Letters must uploaded on Tech Nation’s Application Platform.

Is it compulsory all LoRs should be done this way? I thought this is just an option but the earlier submission ways still stand? What do you think?

@Hauwa_Dupe DocuSign is not mandatory, you’re right. But in my case, some of the LoRs are not on letterheads or include company logo, so using Docusign will at least add more authenticity, that’s why I preferred that option.

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It’s recommended on the guide, I would argue that sice getting a letter DocuSigned by the author is so easy nowadays, not getting digital signatures on a submission is a bad idea, there is no downside to it.

Particularly these days when TN is stopping operations soon and you should not count on the ability to appeal to exist in a month’s time.

I totally understand what you mean.

My letters were the first thing I got, with letterheads and signed as well - as per the guidelines. It will be worrisome if I get them to countersign the already signed letterheaded letters from my end.

Won’t it even look fraudulent that way? My understanding was the people who had issues getting the letterheads with company logos could explore this digital signatures… I didn’t know this new way negates or cancels the previous one😥

Like I mentioned in another thread my hunch would be that a wet signature is already way better than no-signature but maybe slightly worse than a digital signature.

I think docusign gives you the option of asking for a signature with only name or initials, which will give you the certificate of completions etc without having too many signatures in the page.

Personally the letters of recommendation were the first thing I got too in December, and when TN changed the guide to include DocuSign I just reached out to all my recommenders via email and they were happy to docusign it too.

Hello again; I’m currently working on my personal statement, and I have a question related to how to answer: What I am going to do in the UK.
I’m currently not based in the UK. My plan is to start another startup in the fintech space which is why I specifically chose the UK. Do I need to give any specifics on the startup idea?
Does anyone here had a similar situation can help me how to answer this part?
Has anyone got a rejection based on this before and asked them to apply for the Innovator’s Visa (startup visa).
Thanks a lot.

I don’t think don’t need to have everything figured out or give out all the specifics, but you should give out some specifics to show you have a plan, not just a “wish” if that makes sense. If you already started a startup and plan to start another one in the fintech space, you could talk about how you will apply the lessons you learned the first time around on your new startup in the UK. You can talk about why the UK is the best fit for your idea, or how your startup will fit into some specific aspect of the UK Fintech industry.

My advice is to be specific about your goals and show that you have a vision and that you know the field.

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I’m currently finalizing my documents and will submit in a few days. I have a couple of more questions.

  1. Reference letters used as support evidence should include the LinkedIn profile or credentials also?
  2. What are the views on including a reference letter from my startup co-founder and CEO (he was my manager). He will be the best person to prove my contribution and my impact. If i had the option to get a letter from my co-founder to show my contributions versus getting a letter from in industry leader to show my recognition, which one will be stronger? given the evidence, I added above, I only have 1 more spot left.
  3. Is it better for recommendation letters and reference letters to be from people who have worked with you closely and can give more insight on your work or well-known people who would vouch that you’re leading in the field but without any real examples to show. I’ve seen contradicting stories in many questions here.

Thanks a lot to everyone who has helped me. I wouldn’t have reached so far without the amazing support I got here.

@product-founder… You plan to have a fintech startup in the UK right? Do you plan to also work in the UK by applying for jobs? I’m asking you that because you will be asked when filling your tech nation form… That means you will enter No if you plan not to

@alex_james yes. I haven’t filled out the application yet, but for that question, I will answer No.

I want to update everyone that I have received my endorsement. Thanks a lot to everyone who helped me here on this forum.
Special thanks to @yeshellohi @alexnk @ask4jubad @musman2012 … your input helped me a lot

Hey @product-founder congratulations! Best wishes for your stage 2. perhaps we may see you later in the UK then.

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Congratulations @product-founder

So, did you ever figure things out with the reference letter? Which did you choose? The industry leader or a close manager/ colleague?

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@Hauwa_Dupe I went with the direct manager. I didn’t have the time to wait for the other industry leader. And the direct manager actually gave me an opportunity to talk more about my skills in a genuine way that tied all the evidence, personal statement, and my plans together. So I believe it was a good option.


Congratulations!! @product-founder

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