Please rate my application structure - Exceptional Talent - Business Route


I’ve been reading this forum and TN guide, and trying to organize my evidences and it took me a long time to come up with which evidence belongs to which criteria. I particularly had a hard time distinguishing Mandatory Criteria and Optional Criteria 3 because each one asks for proof of leading the growth of a product-led digital technology company. Also, both Mandatory Criteria and Optional Criteria 2 asks for evidence of speaking at a high-profile technology conference.

I’d greatly appreciate your clarification on the difference between MC and OC2/OC3 I explained above, and your inputs on my outline. I really appreciate any help you can provide.

Background: I’m applying to exceptional talent as I have 12 years of experience. i’m applying from the non-technical route. I’ve helped a technology startup grow immensely as I was involved in the senior team and have had an impact on strategic decisions.

10 pieces of evidence

  1. Reference letter from the COO of the startup I helped grow: OC3
  2. Reference letter from the CFO of the startup I helped grow: OC3
  3. My talk at an online panel about how to grow a startup: MC
  4. My salary, equity compensation, glassdoor comparison : MC
  5. My name was mentioned in a big news website’s article about a project I successfully executed: MC
  6. My talk at a very big panel (more important than #3 but this one is about how to improve diversity at the sector so I think I can’t include it in MC): OC2
  7. I was guest speaker at 2 classes at 2 universities: OC2
  8. I was featured in a small magazine as an aspiring person in tech: OC2
  9. I talked about one of our products in a magazine which didn’t reach to masses yet but it was a special product for a very diverse and underserved group, so had an impact in the tech space: OC3
  10. Financials of the company, showing revenue and user growth, appstore rating, user feedbacks (in my language, but I can translate): OC3

I’ll have recommendation letters too but I think they can not be used for the MC/OC. My recommendation letters are from:

1- A tech investor acknowledged by WSJ has been mentoring me unofficially and knows my work: MC
2- A forbes 30 under 30, very successful investor who advises our company (they follow us closely although they haven’t invested in our company yet)
3- The founder of the tech company I’m working at

Greatly appreciate your support. Thanks.

Nice to read of your profile and believe you stand a chance.
Here are my honest thoughts:

Choose and use only one of the reference letters (1 & 2). Although these are from separate individuals, they speak to your work at the same company. So pick the strongest and make sure they speak to your impact.

Speaking at events has to be one evidence, and say you have spoken at three events, you can put each on a page to make up the three pages (this concerns 3, 6 & 7). The rules that guide what kinds of events are accepted are in the tech nation guideline and I would have you refer to it (Tech Nation Visa Guide - Tech Nation).

News mentions should also be one evidence and you can add as many clippings as three pages can allow (this is for 5, 8 & 9). Also refer to the tech nation guide for what kinds of mentions would suffice.

For speaking at events mentioned in MC and OC2, one refers to speaking at high profile industry events (MC), while the other (OC2) refers to speaking at mentoring events (Examples may include mentoring, advising, organizing interest groups, leading on policy, teaching at a university or participating in clubs or societies for the furthering of the field.) The way I like to imagine MC speaking is “Speaking UP”, while OC2 speaking is “Speaking DOWN”. I hope this helps.

OC3 specifically speaks to IMPACT (commercial, technological or entrepreneurial). So if I were you, I would split (10) into three:

  1. Commercial (company financials and revenue, which will be evidenced by how you directly impacted these).
  2. Technological (user growth, app ratings, user feedback etc, which you should also show how you contributed)
  3. Entrepreneurial (Processes employed in achieving these growth - new sales pipelines, digital marketing strategy, etc)

Finally, it is not in the number of evidences really, but how strong they are. Having too many similar evidences only waters down the strength of your application. I also applied as a business candidate for exceptional talent, so I can relate with your application.

I wish you the best, and will be looking out to hear your success story.

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This was very helpful, thanks so much!!