My TechNation Application - September 2020

I applied for my TechNation stage 1 in September 2020. Here is what I submitted, in case it helps anyone.

Context
I am originally from India and moved from Singapore to UK in 2018 with my current employer on a General Tier 2 Visa. My company was happy keeping me on Tier 2, but I applied for TechNation visa anyway, just so I can (a) bring forward my ILR application and (b) rest a little easy just in case my company went through troubled times, which was definitely the case in 2020.

I am Group Engineering Manager at Quantcast, a pre-IPO Advertising Tech company, reporting to VP Engineering. Previously, I was CTO of Vocanic, a Digital Media Tech+Agency business, which was acquired by WPP. I am educated in Computer Science and worked as Engineer for 6 years before taking on management roles.

My LinkedIn profile

Key Criteria Selected

Have a proven track record of innovation in the digital technology sector as a founder or senior executive of a product-led digital technology company or an employee working in a new digital field or concept that must be clearly evidenced

Qualifying Criteria Selected

Qualifying Criteria 1: Have made significant technical, commercial, or entrepreneurial contributions in the digital technology sector either as a founder, senior executive or employee of a product-led digital technology company
Qualifying Criteria 2: Have been recognised as a leading talent in the digital technology sector

Recommendation Letters

  • First: From my ex-boss, who was CEO & co-founder of the company. I worked there for 7 years, joining as Head of Engineering and growing to be CTO.
  • Second: From CEO & co-founder of my current employer. At the time of application I had worked for about 3.5 years. The CEO was not my line manager (I report to VP of Engineering who reports to CTO), but knew enough about me and my work to write a letter recommending me. This letter focussed on the business impact of my role and the projects I have completed.
  • Third: From CTO of my current employer. This person was my line manager till he delegated line management to VP Engineering. This letter focussed on the technical complexity and outcomes of me and my team over the past 3 years.

Main Evidences

Other Evidences were 10 in total. For documents with evidences such as photos, scans or screesnhots, I used a combination of thumbnails of documents/screenshots and then put in a link to the high resolution original image. This allowed me to fit in between 4-8 documents on a single page.

  • Certifications: 3 pages of relevant academic certificates.
  • Blogs and Articles in public domain: 3 pages linking blogs outlining innovative technical ideas.
  • Public Speaking & Press Clippings: 3 pages linking all the times I have given talks or invited to a conference as speaker, as well as press clippings of either me, or my work being quoted. Where your name is not directly mentioned in the article, I provided context linking me to the article.
  • IP contributions: I have received Trade Secret Award. Since the innovation itself can’t be revealed, I got a letter from the IP division of my company. I also went to my company github page and screenshot milestones of my work. Since actual code can’t be shared, I screenshot relevant pages that show my contribution quantity and relevance (reviews, comments etc) without revealing any code. (Get this cleared from your company’s legal team if necessary)
  • Verification of Employment: Letter from HR verifying my employment, as well as P60s of the last 2 years indicating my income.
  • Reference letter from a colleague with whom I worked closely, outlining the work I did and how I did it.
  • Reference letter from a business partner in one of the ventures I am involved in.
  • Reference letter from an academic talking about work I did for his college - I was on Industry Advisory Board for 2 years, as well as set curriculum for one of their courses.
  • Reference letter from CEO of a company where I am Technical Advisor.

Every document was precisely 3 pages. The reference letters were typically shorter than 3 pages, but I used screenshots of my involvements (website links mentioning my name; curriculum page on the college website; etc) in the remaining pages to complete the context on that particular evidence.

Other documents

  • My CV - 3 pages - focussed on outcome rather than output.
  • Personal Statement - focussed on why I moved to UK, and why I will stay and how I will contribute to the local society.

I was not eligible for fast track. I got my endorsement for Global Talent in September 2020 and I switched to this visa in October 2020.

9 Likes

Thanks for this. I appreciate your taking time to put it together.

Very helpful, thank you.

Thanks Shree for sharing. This is helpful!

Thank you so much for sharing!

Thanks @Shreeniwas_Iyer - I have small query here. Did you focus on only 1 innovation all the docs? and all of your recommendation letters and supporting documents supported the same innovation or unique work that you did ?

Good question @abd - in my case my different docs led to showcase different innovations. In total, I showcased 3 major innovations

  1. Innovation by my current team
  2. Innovation by me with a different team in my company that led to some IP recognition
  3. Innovation in my previous company

Different documents provided support for one of the 3 of the above.

2 Likes

Thanks for this. I appreciate your taking out time to put this together.

But i’d like to ask if you can share templates of the letters you submitted to help our referees have an idea of what is expected of them. Example, the recommendation letters and reference letters. I would really appreciate if this can be done. Please, is this something you can do? Thanks

Hi @Aloysius

Please see the following guideline on the TechNation visa page:

Based on that my suggestion would be not to go after templated letters. Also, please look at Skillset and recommdariom letters for some idea of the content of these letters.

Thank you for this. I was not looking for something to duplicate from but basically to give an idea of what to expect. Well, this did it for me though. Thanks once again.

Thanks for sharing a detail info. Really it gave me better idea how to submit my application.

I am looking to apply for the same visa stage 1, i have over 20 years of experience in Hardware design and product design. I can get all the other information no issues, i don’t understand the mandatory criteria? If i don’t have awards and publications or any of these, i am not eligible?

Examples of relevant evidence could include:

  • 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. Please note that ‘leading industry experts’ excludes roles listed as unsuitable in the Typical Applicants section of the guidance (for example, managers at Outsourcing or Consultancy firms etc.)
  • You led the marketing or business development at a product-led digital technology company, demonstrably enabling substantial revenue and/or customer growth or major commercial success, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, senior global commercial executives inside the company and/or at company partners/customers, or similar evidence.
  • You led the growth of a non-profit organisation or social enterprise with a specific focus on the digital technology sector, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence.
  • Outside of your normal day-to-day job role, you led or were a significant contributor to a substantial open source project, as evidenced from compilation of code commit summaries, repo stars or similar metrics such as download statistics, where possible.
  • Outside of your normal day-to-day job role, you established, led or were a senior contributor to a large technology-led industry initiative, evidenced through reference letter(s) from global senior project executives.
  • You have received nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence specifically in the digital technology sector, as evidenced by the award itself, reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your achievement, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence.
  • You have evidence of speaking at high-profile digital technology sector events, or specialist events for your particular field in the digital technology sector, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings or similar evidence (including event size/attendance estimates where possible).
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the applicant related to the applicant’s work in the digital technology sector. You must include the title, date and evidence that you are the author of such published material and any necessary translation.
  • You command a high salary or other remuneration for your services, as evidenced by commercial or employment contracts with salary information including any bonus and equity options and history of earnings.
  • You have held or hold a significant expert role participating on panels, or individually, assessing the work of others in the same field or a field of specialisation related to the digital technology sector.

Please note that evidence of media recognition should include details about the publication and target audience. LinkedIn or Medium are not considered sufficient as evidence. Evidence of recognition provided by a colleague, friend or manager or internal company awards, training or certificates is not sufficient for meeting this criterion. Where possible evidence should include supporting data such as number of page views, downloads or other quantifiable metrics.

Under mandatory section of the eligibility:

  • You have held or hold a significant expert role participating on panels, or individually, assessing the work of others in the same field or a field of specialisation related to the digital technology sector.*

Can anyone tell me is that with in the company or has to be different company or can be ether or?

for this can it be company award for the the product i have design, and we got the award for best startup company, or it have to be personal achievements? In away that as my achievement, i did the complete product design for the company.

In my case it was company award for an algorithm I designed for the company and whose IP is retained by the company.

Either or, I believe.

i am applying under digital technology with the product design for the hardware architecture, and we have a patented software that run on that product. On the patent, it not my name, it the company CEO/CTO, can i still give them the patent number or it must show my name?

under optional criteria?

If you are an employee working in a new digital field or concept, this must be clearly demonstrated, for example by providing a patent application (patent should include verifiable ID on Google Patents).

In my opinion it is going to be tough to take credit for a patent in which your name is not mentioned. However, if one of the patent holders can write a letter (perhaps one of the referrals) indicating how your work contributed it that direction, it might be worth something.

yes i know, so i would avoid submitting patent. I can get letter from them which i already have, but its about my hardware that i have done, not the software patent.

Hi, i am ready to apply for stage1, i have gathered all the documents, looking at the website. Its confusing. It tell ems to apply for Global Talent visa, but not the endorsement?

https://www.gov.uk/global-talent-digital-technology i can apply through this link, but where it specifies i am only applying for endorsement first?