Hello TN Community,
My GTV application got rejected, I am putting together a response but I feel it’s not strong enough to counter the review. Here is a summary of my application:
I applied on March 10th, my response came April 14th.
- Employment contract from my current company.
- 3 months payslip with bank alert screenshots showing a competitive salary.
- News clipping where my name was mentioned during the launch of the company’s new mobile wallet.
- Instances where I represented my company in tech events, in my country and abroad.
- A reference letter from my CEO about my contributions and leadership to support MC.
- Finally added an employment contract from my previous remote role at an Indian company also showing the last salary payment I received before exit. One of my LOR is from the CEO of this company.
- For my current company, I talked about the problem and solution then provided proof of the product in the market and associated traction with installs. Also highlighted my employment contract.
- Provided proof of product in the market for a previous startup I co-founded. This came with a shot from shareholder agreements where I owned stakes that got liquidated and paid to my bank account after my exit. A screenshot of the credit to my bank was provided.
- Reference letter from my employer as supporting evidence.
2 Screenshot of code contributions on GitHub (Direct commits and code reviews) from the company’s private repositories.
- Architectural diagrams and product designs (database schemas, block, and flow diagrams)
- Transaction volume processed by the system we built.
- Commercial contribution: When I closed a 100 million deal in an investment partnership which was also referenced in my letter from my employer. Also, cost reduction contributions to monthly services.
That’s the summary.
MY DRAFT RESPONSE:
The reviewer’s reference to my first software engineering role in 2015 is inaccurate as nowhere in my entire application did I state 2015 or even as the start date for my first engineering role. As of 2015, I was still an engineering undergraduate and this ended in August 2017. My first role started in October 2017 as stated in the fifth paragraph of my cover letter (Personal statement) this was a startup formed by my classmates and I having just completed our academic journey a few months back. The company was officially registered with CAC in February 2018 and contracts were signed in March 2018. Based on this, I have barely 5 years of field experience as a software engineer in the digital technology space. Failure of the reviewer to evaluate me as an exceptional promise is seen as a major setback in the review of my application. Kindly reevaluate and review my application as an exceptional promise.
The criterion requires me to “demonstrate that I have made a significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contribution to the field as a founder, senior executive, board member or employee of a product-led digital technology company” with emphasis on “significant” and not “competent/exceptional” contribution as stated by the reviewer. I got into the role by being competent, but then I made significant contributions that brought impact while being competent in my role. The English dictionary defines significant as “sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy”. My CEO of a product-let startup has provided a letter to prove that my competency brought about a significant impact on the organization which should be honored.
I also provided architectural diagrams, GitHub activities, and more to show my specific code and commercial contributions leading to significant impact at SenexPay (which are also referenced in my CEO’s letter). All examples are listed as acceptable evidence in Tech Nation’s guidelines and should not be considered self-reported.
Thanks for your help in advance.
@Francisca_Chiedu @Mors_E @alex_james @Pankaj_Doharey
I would really appreciate suggestions from the community.
Did your CEO give metrics of your significant achievement? It is not about the dictionary definition of significant but the strength of statements in your reference letter. So if your referee stated compelling impact in your letter, then point the assessor to it. Based on other shared feedback on this forum, generic letters don’t work.
As for arguments regarding your length of experience you need to check that what you stated in your CV and linkedin doesn’t suggest you have more than five years. The assessor could have stated 2015 in error but what you have on your LinkedIn or CV may not corroborate your claim. If you are certain that your CV shows five years then raise it.
Yes, my CEO highlighted some metrics from what I have, not necessarily of my achievement.
- Where I was instrumental in building and scaling the Edu program and Talk to a Web3 advisor platform to reach over 5,000 users within the space of three months.
- Managed the team that developed our Mobile wallets for users, processing about $500,000 after only a few weeks in the market.
- 95% reduction in email services cost and 30% savings on engineering cost.
- Highly instrumental in the company obtaining a X amount of investment partnership in digital assets to provide liquidity as of May 2022.
- Others, though within my line of primary assignment was impact that contributed to growth.
My first experience according to my CV and Linkedin is October 2017, which makes it 5 years and 6 months. @Francisca_Chiedu so makes it not a valid argument yeah, I should just point out only the typo then.
In addition to above, they also specifically mentioned that the salary was not enough to justify MC.
How much and how did you show your salary?
The salary was 6 figures, in millions.
However, that statement is tricky as it did not state the amount. Could mean they accepted it but not enough pieces of evidence for MC1.
@Francisca_Chiedu @Mors_E @alex_james @Pankaj_Doharey @alexnk
I would like to submit in the next few days as my deadline is almost up. I don’t know who else to mention, perhaps you could help.
I have only been able to answer OC3 and maybe MC. I’ll appreciate as much input I can get.
For my OC1, what I did was to detail why the product is innovative, screenshots of news media stating why the product is innovative in the African market and also stated my part in the innovation which were documentation I wrote and a GitHub repo merged code evidence to back the implementation based on the documentation and another feature I developed at the innovative company.
Do you have anything in line like this that you could tailor for review, not saying this is perfect answer but that is what I did in my OC1.
If you have the typo about dates, just try to point it out.
The amount of salary will need to be in exact amount, as it could be easily proven by the employment contract that you submitted, it could help to explain the six figure in more solid and more value to assessor.
Letter is not a key evidence, but the LoR is just to support your main evidence. So you will need to point out to specific document for the assessor to review your innovation and your impact then.
I hope this helps @rikoz
For my OC1, I gave details on why the product was innovative and proof of the product in the market showing downloads. However, my code commits and reviews evidence was mostly shown in MC and OC3.
In my case, I am part of every aspect of the innovation. I proved this in MC.
Thanks @alexnk, I am putting in my review with the home office today. I will put your feedback into consideration.
I would also appreciate if you can touch specific areas based on my application.
@rikoz Number of download and proof of product in the market are not a part of innovation. Given than there was very few download and it has been out of of the market by some reason, the new concept of the product will be still be considered as innovation.
So I hope that you had your evidence to demonstrate how your product you worked with, was innovative, new to market, or new concept. You can then point the assessor to the specific file and paragraph to reread your evidence again.