Software Engineer & Founder for Promise/Talent

Hello, I’m a software engineer with ~5 years experience. Co-founded a startup that ran for 2 years in Nigeria. I’m currently in the UK on a start-up visa and I’m looking to apply for Global Talent. I would appreciate any feedback on my profile. I’m also not sure whether to apply for Talent or Promise

Letters of Recommendation:

  1. CEO of a tech startup who’s an adviser on my current startup
  2. Programme Leader for my MSc course
  3. CEO of a startup accelerator my company is participating in

Mandatory Criteria

  1. I presented a research paper (as the first author) at a conference where leading experts were in attendance. I have snippets of the programme of events and the book of abstracts showing my name. reference letter from an Assistant Professor who I worked directly with on the paper explaining the impact of the research and presentation

  2. Evidence from my Nigerian startup (Paystack screenshot showing revenue, company ownership, app screenshots, code commits and news articles mentioning the product). Though the revenue isn’t that much when converted to pounds

  3. Evidence from my UK startup (company ownership, winning a grant from my Uni through a business pitching competition and screenshots of the product demo). The company is still in the early stages and has no revenue, customers or mentions yet.

  4. Stackoverflow contributions. Screenshots and a link to my profile showing my reputation and estimated impact (~26k people reached)

Optional Criteria 2 (work beyond immediate occupation)

  1. 3 open source projects with evidence of them being used by developers. 2 of them have attracted contributions from other developers. (divided into 2 pieces of evidence). I also mentioned my Stackoverflow contributions here

Optional Criteria 4 (exceptional ability in the field by academic contributions)

  1. Research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal. The paper has a few citations and is rated highly on ResearchGate.
  2. Evidence of my academic performance plus being awarded a Distinction

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

How long have you known recommenders? I don’t think using an advisor to your startup is good enough. I know I have seen a feedback that said it is not sufficient. The CEO of the accelerator may not know you long enough. I have also seen a feedback that suggested that the accelerator period wasn’t sufficient for the recommender to write about an applicant. It’s possible that’s a single assessor’s view but I recommend you use people in your sector who know your contribution over time.

Mandatory Criteria - is your research related to your MSc? If the paper is related to your MSc then it doesn’t meet the requirement.
2. If the revenue is not substantial then you are demonstrating it is not a commercially successful company. Don’t forget the guide says commercially successful…

For optional criteria 4, again is this a PhD or MSc related evidence.

Based on what you have listed, I think your application may be suitable for promise.
This is just my opinion, you are welcome to apply for talent if you have other strong evidence that you are a recognized leader.


Thank you very much for the feedback! I’ve known the recommenders since 2020, long before the accelerator started. The adviser has also known me before my company started. I guess I’ll have to explain it properly. I’ll also consider another recommender if possible.

Mandatory Criteria - this part is more about the conference presentation. The research was part of a funded project and not necessarily my MSc. The conference was after I graduated.

OC4 - While it was published during my programme, it’s not an MSc coursework but it meets the “peer-review” requirement.

For mandatory criteria, do you think it would make sense to use a project for a product-led startup but within an outsourcing company? Or do you think I can survive if I remove the low-revenue startup without adding anything else to MC?

As far as I am aware research papers with few citations may not be sufficient. Do you have evidence that your paper was accepted at a conference, like a certificate of acceptance?

Outsourcing companies don’t meet the requirements. It’s really up to you what evidence you put in you application. If you think you have interpreted tech nation guide’s correctly then use what you have.

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There’s no certificate of acceptance for the conference, but my name is mentioned on the programme of events. That’s why I want to get a letter to support it.

For the journal paper, it is publicly available on the journal’s website and I provided evidence of the journal’s peer-review process. As far as I know, the main requirement for research papers is recognition through peer-review or reference letter by an expert.

I 100% agree on the outsourcing one, that’s why I decided not to use that one on my application. I was thinking of this, but I don’t think it meets that criteria:

Work at specific agencies may be considered if the agencies are extremely focused on product innovation in a specific industry and are well-recognized for their contributions to that industry
In any case, thanks for the feedback!

I have responded based on feedback from similar application that where not endorsed. You asked for feedback from the forum, I have given my opinion. If you think you have interpreted tech nation 's requirements correctly, by all means use the evidence you have, all I can say is good luck!

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Regarding OC4, you may find the feedback on this application useful, see link:

Thank you very much @Francisca_Chiedu :raised_hands:t6:
I’ll take all your feedback into consideration. My application still has a long way to go.

I have observed that some people come to this forum to ask for reviews on their supporting documents even when they have made up their mind to use evidence that do not meet the criteria. When the application get refused, they start to send direct messages. I will encourage folks to search rejected applications in this forum and read some of the feedback from rejected applications to get a sense of what is expected as evidence or how to present your evidence.

If you ask me, OC4 is best for people who have novel research, it’s not just about presenting a paper at a conference, how has your research contributed to advancement in technology.


I just wanted to update this with what I eventually went with. I got my endorsement recently and I decided to write about my profile. Hopefully someone finds it useful.

Thanks for your feedback @Francisca_Chiedu it made me rethink my presentation of the evidence.

You are welcome. Congratulations!

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