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