This is a really amazing forum; I have learnt a lot regarding constructing my Global Talent Visa application. I am currently working on my application for the Exceptional Promise and would be glad to have feedback and guidance from alumni and tech nation ambassadors here.
Apologies for the long post below…
A Brief Background
I am the founder of a travel tech startup building an online marketplace focused on solving the problems of travel to Africa with our target market being the international market - the UK, Europe, and the US. Our product has been used by over 360 local tour companies across 28 African countries. I am 21yrs old and a final year student of Computer Science at a university in Nigeria.
- Letter of Recommendation 1 – Fmr Director at Apple, ex-Partner at Y Combinator and Angel Investor
- Letter of Recommendation 2 – Currently the Founder of an African focused accelerator, Fmr Head of Community at an American Accelerator and leads an Angel syndicate that invests in African startups.
- Letter of Recommendation 3 – The Founder and Managing Director of a PR firm in the UK focused on African Tech with over 6 years experience and a Mentor at Google Launchpad for Africa.
Key Criteria Evidence
- I plan to submit a news clipping announcing me the winner of the Pioneer Tournament. As of the time of my announcement as a winner, only 212 entrepreneurs (out of which only 7 are from the whole of Africa) have been announced winners of the tournament out of over 50k people that are part of it. I am also one of the youngest winners at the age of 20. Also included is a webpage that includes all the perks winners of the tournament gets – over $300k in value.
- I plan to submit a news clipping of me being selected into the inaugural cohort of an African focused entrepreneurship fellowship. 50 people applied across Africa and the African diaspora, and only 19 of us were chosen from 8 African countries.
- I plan to submit my feature on the Forward-Thinking Founders Podcast (a tech podcast that is in the top 1.5% worldwide) and Startup.info (an online magazine with over 100k monthly unique viewers) talking about my startup.
Qualifying Criteria 1 Evidence
- I volunteered as a virtual assistant and panel moderator at the 2020 Codeland Distributed Conference. I plan to submit a printed Thank You email from the main organizer of the Conference acknowledging my role in making the conference a success and a letter of support from the speaker I was assisting detailing how I was instrumental to the success of his workshop. The speaker is from India and has over 10 years of experience as a software developer.
- I currently mentor a couple of newbies in the area of Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals as part of the Microsoft 4Afrika Skills lab Program 2021. I intend to submit a printed email showing my selection as a mentor and screenshots of two of my Microsoft Azure Certifications that were instrumental in me being selected as a mentor.
Qualifying Criteria 2 Evidence
- A letter of support from the Head of Community at Pioneer that conducted the final due diligence on my startup before being selected as a Pioneer Tournament winner and a letter of support from my cofounder detailing my significant contribution to the startup both on the technical and business aspect.
- Screenshots of press clippings about my startup in 4 different tech/startup blogs across Africa with a minimum of 50k monthly unique viewers.
- Screenshots of three different products I have built at my startup in the last 12 months.
- Certificate of Incorporation of my startup as a C-corp corporation in the US, certificate of my initial company incorporation in the UK and shares document showing me over 50%
stake in the company.
- I have seen different advice regarding ensuring that your experts talk about different themes in their letter of recommendation. All my letter of recommendations has the same theme which is around the work I am doing at my current startup. Hope that is fine?
- One of the experts doesn’t want to include his mobile number on the letter of recommendation but he is willing to provide a letterhead with email, a link to his personal website and an address.
- Are these pieces of evidence strong enough or should I add additional evidence that I might have? E.g., one of the products was built on WordPress, so I can’t show a GitHub profile but I can show a screenshot of my changelog on the project and a screenshot of the dashboard showing the number of people using the product + google analytics screenshot showing over 5k monthly unique viewers.
- I volunteered to build a tool to combat the coronavirus pandemic, does this count as proof of evidence of work outside current employment?
- I have another product I built 2 years ago as a side project which was an innovative idea but didn’t make money of it as it was shut down a few months later. Should I include it or just focus my evidence around my current startup?