Review Exceptional Talent Application from VP of Marketing

Would any successful applicants care to review my documents for an endorsement from TechNation for Exceptional Talent? I have been a marketing leader for 8 years and I’m applying through the Business route with the innovation and impact criteria.

If you email me at sunlightthroughredwoods(at) I can share the full package of documents with you and appreciate detailed feedback. Otherwise here’s a summary of what’s in there.

  • Personal statement explaining how I’ve been a VP of Marketing for four digital technology startups, with UK (if not global) remit and showing numbers for contribution to pipeline (sales opportunities leading to revenue) at each. Also states how I’ve led specialised teams in web engineering, paid digital and marketing analytics and operations. States a couple examples of large speaking engagements, but always at company-sponsored events.

  • Resume showing career experience in addition to prestigious university BA, an MBA, CIPP/E certification, and multiple European languages spoken

  • Endorsement letter from COO of most recent SaaS company stating how I’m accountable for X% year-over-year growth and X percentage of revenue and how I’ve led web engineering, operations, analytics and paid digital teams that contribute to that revenue. It contains an example or two of a project I led that increased leads by a factor of X and volume of Sales opportunities by Y, in support of revenue Z.

  • Endorsement letter from CFO of different SaaS company before that stating similar things (but with examples and numbers from the different company)

  • Endorsement letter from President and General Manager of the UK of different SaaS company before that stating similar things (but with examples and numbers from the different company)

  • Endorsement letter from CMO of different SaaS company before that stating similar things (but with examples and numbers from the different company)

  • Offer letter with high six-figure salary from one of the above startups

  • Another offer letter with high six-figure salary from one of the above startups

  • Another offer letter with high six-figure salary from one of the above startups

The companies above make innovative software products, some of which define new categories. As a marketing leader, I am often ghost-writing for other people about the tech categories we are defining or disrupting. I can supply those pieces of content, though I’d rather not contact past CEOs to ask them to verify that they did not write them.

Do you have any feedback on what I’m missing or need to adjust? Thanks in advance for your experience!

What is your list of evidence for your mandatory criteria? Aside Offer letter, what do you have to show that you are a leader in your field?

How do you plan to demonstrate innovation? Innovation is mostly for Technical folks not business.

What is your evidence for impact?

Lastly, your personal statement doesn’t state how you plan to contribute to the UK digital technology sector


Nice. Can you show how your products are innovative or have a plan to show how the revenues as led to a change and the impacts likewise. Also, I will advice you to have a breakdown of your plan, contributions, and how you will impact the UK system in relation to technology. ( Pls, I am just writing based on my own experience)

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Thanks for the quick feedback!

  • The endorsement letters, of which I could easily add more, all express that I am a leader in my field. Is your question suggesting that this is not enough? I release innovative products to market and exceed revenue goals, so I don’t receive external rewards for what I do. What would be a better example for a business person if there are no external awards?
  • Innovation is about 2 things for a marketer: First it’s defining new categories of products as we release them to market. For example defining “API-as-a-Service” and releasing the first-ever digital platform to support the passion economy. The second innovation is in leveraging new platforms (eg TikTok), measurement tools (Chartable) and strategies (eg hybrid events) to grow revenue. Would you say that these do not suffice for a business person to innovate? What would be a better example for a business person?
  • Impact is stated in a number of ways such as leads generated; sales opportunities generated; revenue generated; employees hired; and products released to market. Would you say these do not qualify as impact in TechNation’s evaluation? What would be a better example for a business person?
  • My personal statement does say how I plan to contribute to the tech sector. it’s 1000 words, so I couldn’t put the whole thing in this summary. I’d love your feedback on the whole thing if you care to share your contact info. I will contribute in a number of ways such as releasing new products to market; growing the UK footprint, revenue and marketshare of digital product-led companies; and hiring and mentoring UK workers. Would you say that these are not sufficient enough contributions to warrant the TechNation endorsement? What would be a better example for a business person?
    Thank you again for your input. It’s greatly appreciated.

My response is based on feedback from rejected applications shared on this forum. The Tech Nation guide states that reference letters alone are not sufficient. Have you been recognised outside your organisation? Do you have media mention of your work in these organisations? A good example will be news clippings about your work. You can list newspaper publication where you were acknowledged for our significant contribution to the organisations.

I am not convinced your evidence for innovation is strong enough. In any case, Tech Nation stared that " 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)". How do you plan to evidence innovation?

I think you can use a sales pipeline to evidence impact, also reference letter from your employer stating your significant contribution to the growth of the company which is different from your recommendation letters. You can also add you salary as evidence in Optional criteria 3.

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You’ve got a great profile. A detailed explanation showing how your work is innovative or how you have innovated within your company in addition to the letter confirming what you have done should actually help. I have a friend who was able to demonstrate innovation this way(They are in marketing as well). The tricky thing is when you are doing both innovation and significant contribution ie OC1 and OC3, it’s very easy to mix up both so if you use both, you should be able to demonstrate the difference between the two of them.

Also, can you create another piece of evidence that is focused on the speaking events you have had but clearly spells out the impact of them in terms of the number of people attracted etc…

Honestly, if you can scrape up a few media mentions and at least 1 external speaking engagement, your profile would look so much stronger. You’ve got the raw materials, presentation is everything at this point.

All the same, you’ve done a great job.


Thanks for the encouragement. I can put in one of the endorsement letters the number of people in attendance at the events at which I spoke. I have been quoted in a couple articles (literally a couple-word quote each) that I could provide as evidence too.
I can include separate deck slides showing the pipeline numbers from various annual reports, but I don’t know if they ignore them if they are not part of an endorsement letter.
I have good relationships with my endorsers, but no one will have company letterhead or be willing to make some and ask their HR departments to jump through the hoops to approve the use of it. Does anyone know people who got approved with endorsement letters that were docusigned and didn’t have logos on them but had everything else required?

I know people who provided recommendation letters without the company letterhead and got the endorsement. I don’t think that it’s a problem especially if the person isn’t a Founder… and where they work is verifiable… It’s the individual endorsing you and not their organisation so it’s understandable.

PS: I don’t represent technation.

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Francisca thanks for such prompt and helpful feedback! I have now linked in my personal statement to a podcast on startup marketing in which I was the featured speaker, an article about the event I spoke at that had 10K attendees, an article in which I was quoted regarding the passion economy and an article in which I was quoted regarding emerging audio social media platforms.

Regarding innovation, I also added in my personal statement that one of the companies I released products to market for is on the list of Fast Company’s 10 most innovative social media tech companies. And in each letter I describe each product I released to market and why it’s innovative (for example the first API as a Service for cloud storage or the first digital platform for the passion economy). I also noted my use of hybrid events, measurement of podcast engagement and usage of new platforms (eg tiktok) to indicate innovation in my field of marketing. Would you say these are not sufficient for a business person?

Great point about including company growth in each referral letter. I’ve done that.

I just left my most recent company in the UK. I wonder if my application is stronger as is, stating that I don’t want to choose any company to work for just to stay in the country. Would my application be stronger with my next tech job offer in hand with a letter from them stating that I will release X innovative product into the market which is innovative because it uniquely does Y and my efforts will have a commercial impact of Z? I have read the TechNation guide so this is an opinion request. I realize the guide states nothing about this. Thanks Francisca I’ll also find you on Linkedin!

With these much detail, I believe you have nailed your application. You don’t have to have a job in hand to apply for Tech Nation. Your CV will already show the history of the companies your have worked work. I saw your question in another post, regarding using letterhead for your recommendation letters. I think you it is not in your interest of all three recommendation letters come without a company logo. It can be understandable if it is just one letter. I should think that someone in a very senior role should be able get a letter written on company letter. I would recommend you use those willing to get approval.

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My 2 cents … do you do product development or are you a marketing professional releasing programs and campaigns to drive leads and pipeline.

they want to know what you have done specifically. Were you responsible in designing the product ? then add those aspects

I applied in the marketing field and showed innovation through the campaigns i developed, some which won an award and campaign results. the letters also spoke about the innovation of these campaigns .

Also links to your podcast etc in your personal statement won’t help. it’s a text only field from what i recall and no options to hyperlink

Thank you this is helpful

FYI my endorsement was successful so I wanted to circle back and thank you for your feedback that made my application better. Thank you!


I was endorsed and your feedback on this forum helped. Thank you!


Congrats, you put in the work, so it well deserved. welcome to the Tech Nation Alumni network, after your visa gets approved, you can join the slack group! Do you mind sharing your final document checklist, so others in the forum can learn from your experience.

Congratulations Grace. Really glad I could help.

Sure thing. I submitted my resume, personal statement (in which I typed out links to a podcast I was interviewed on), an endorsement letter from the CFO of a unicorn startup, an endorsement letter from the CMO of another unicorn startup, an endorsement letter from the President of the UK+Europe+Africa region of a large SaaS company, an offer letter from a large SaaS company, an offer letter from a unicorn startup, an offer letter from a smaller startup, a certificate of share ownership in a unicorn startup, an email confirming receipt of a reward for an achievement in marketing, an article from Business Insider in which I was quoted, an article from Campaign Live in which I was quoted, a PDF showing a brand award for a startup, and my MBA transcript.


Thanks Grace. Well deserved.

hi there! I am looking to apply for an exceptiona promise visa based on my digital marketing experience - see Linkedin profile here - - would it be possible for you to get in touch with me or vice versa? I need to put my application together as quickly as possible due to Tech Nation shutting down!