Innovation and Contribution Criteria: Need Assistance with Evidence Gathering for Exceptional Promise


I am currently gathering evidence and I believe I am stuck. I have observed that people are getting rejected for Optional Criteria 1, which is innovation, especially if they are not a founder.

If I can only choose one between Optional Criteria 1 and 2, which do you think is better for Exceptional Promise?

I feel that if Optional Criteria 2 can convince the assessor, I can add more financial evidence and statistics to show proof of how Optional Criteria 1 is commercially successful, making it suitable for Optional Criteria 3.

For Optional Criteria 1 (Innovation), I have evidence related to two projects from two different companies:

  1. The success of an online news website in Sierra Leone, which has grown to over 20 million page views.

Evidence includes my job role as the Head of Digital,

  • innovations I’ve implemented on the news website showing we were the first in the market to take a specific approach which will be supported by a schematic diagram of a mobile push notification I integrated that now has over 170k subscribers and how it helped contribute to direct traffic and customer retention increased.

  • SemRush data showing the website as the number one website in Sierra Leone,

  • Google Analytics data,

  • a letter from the CEO stating the innovative strategies I led to the growth of the platform,

  • news clip on how the Platform is Harnessing Digital Technology to Bring Local News Closer to Citizens with my name being mentioned.

  • news clips about the platform’s achievements after two years with my name being mentioned.

  • my employment contract.

  1. The first national mobile crime reporting system.

Evidence includes my job role as a Senior Digital Marketing Executive in a new digital concrot

  • Marketing strategies I implemented that helped the mobile application generate over 10k downloads and become the number one trending app on Google play store,

  • One news clip about the system’s usage during the 2019 Nigerian general election with my name being mentioned,

  • a letter of recommendation from the CEO explaining how I contributed to the successful development of the mobile application project.

  • The project has been discontinued, so I will share the interview clips by the CEO on a popular TV station and websites as validation of the product creation.

  • Employment contract.

For Optional Criteria 2 (Out of Work Contribution), I have evidence related to

  1. Training 30 Mass Communication students on Digital Marketing fundamentals during COVID-19 on WhatsApp platform.
  • little write up justifying the need for the program during the heat lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic
  • a letter of facilitation, appreciation, and recommendation from the organizer,
  • a news clip about the event with my name being mentioned,
  • a letter of support from one of the students who attended the program and is now doing well in the digital marketing field,

Other evidence for OC 2

  • Featured story in a popular online newspaper about my achievements in the digital marketing industry,

  • 2 featured story in 2 mid - popular online newspaper about my achievements in the digital marketing industry.

  • An online publication where I contributed to a popular news website on digital marketing,

  • Quarterly columns on two online news websites about Tech and digital marketing for over 2 years leading to about 10 content each.

  • Letter of support from the publishers of the two website as a columnist.

N:B All news clips are supported by the links and also the readability analytics of that platform using Similarweb or Semrush.

If I can only choose one between Optional Criteria 1 and 2, which do you think is better for Exceptional Promise?

Thank you for your honest and blunt opinion.

@Francisca_Chiedu @femibiwoye @Abiodun_Oyekunle @May @Yomi_Olaoye @akinolaking @Yusuf_Adebanjo @alexnk @product-founder



  • Your evidence 1 is focusing on the Innovative strategy, not the innovative product. Therefore you will need to demonstrate that your digital marketing strategy is new to the industry, which seems challenging to prove.
  • 2nd evidence. You may need to add more contributions of the innovative product (the mobile application project) into this evidence. Show how it is a new concept and new to the market. Note that the impact of your work is not required in OC1 so squeeze in more info about the product of how it is innovative and your contribution.

OC2 may not meet the criteria. You are showing only how good you are, which may be good for MC. But OC2 focuses on the advancement of the sector or how you help others to grow in the field.

Read more about these 2 criteria at

I hope this helps


Thank you for your response.

For the optional criteria 1, Let’s say I intended to show proof using the following, will it work?

  1. Detailed project descriptions: Provide a detailed explanation of the projects i worked on, including the goals, challenges, and how I contributed to their success.

  2. Schematic diagrams or flowcharts: Use visual aids to illustrate the innovative strategies or processes that I developed and implemented e.g PRD document…

  3. Metrics and data: Use data to demonstrate the impact of my innovative strategies. For examples: data on increased traffic, engagement, or revenue. Still confused though, that I might end explaining OC 3?

  4. Letters of recommendation: r letters of recommendation from the CEO’s that highlight my contributions and innovative ideas.

  5. Press coverage: Include news articles, interviews, or other media coverage that mention my contributions to the projects.

  6. Job description: Employment letter that include a detailed job description that outlines my responsibilities and achievements, particularly regarding innovation.

What do you think @alexnk ?

I think you need to add how you show how your innovative strategy is unique and new concept to the market as well. The evidence should influence the assessor that your work is innovative, also note that Impact is not required.

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