Stage 1 Endorsement Successful - Exceptional Talent (Business)

Hey everyone,

I received my Stage 1 endorsement this week for Exceptional Talent and after getting a lot of value out of reading through other applications, I figured I would share mine in case it’s helpful.


  • Exceptional Talent
  • Switching from Skilled Worker Visa
  • Date Applied: 8 Aug 22
  • Application Last Updated: 16 Aug and 19 Aug
  • Endorsement Received: 22 Aug (2 weeks)

Personal Statement
For this I followed the Tech Nation questions exactly and made sure each was covered. Key part that I highlighted was that the impact my evidence showed I had in the last 5 years, and how I intend my career and work to continue to contribute to the UK digital tech industry in the future. I kept my answers around planned occupation and region/city to be very brief to make sure the other two questions had enough substance. I think my first draft of this was 1500 words and I had to cull back.

My CV is 2 pages representing just over 10 years of experience. The only edit I made was just checking that for each role it was clear the impact I had in addition to my responsibilities.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Letter 1 - CEO of FinTech scaleup where I was in a C-Level role for a number of years. 2 pages.
  • Letter 2 - CEO of CyberTech scaleup where I am currently on the exec team. 2 pages.
  • Letter 3 - CEO of an EdTech scaleup where I sit on the Board as a NED. 3 pages.

Mandatory Criteria

  • 1. Recommendation Letter - from another Exec at the FinTech highlighting my work and impact in that role
  • 2. Awards - This showed links or screenshots of 4 x industry awards I had received in the last 5 years and 2 x company awards with an explanation of how my impact contributed to the company awards.
  • 3. Salary History - This showed snippets from employment contracts for the past 5 years showing salary history, all of which reflective of exec team salaries in the US and UK.

Optional Criteria 2 - External Impact & Recognition

  • 4. Conference & Events Talks - This showed links or screenshots of industry events where I was either a main-stage or panel speaker in the past 5 years. In total there were 8 events and for each I either linked the speaking agenda online or a screenshot of promo materials showing me listed. I also listed event attendance numbers where I knew them.
  • 5. Mentorship - This was an explanation of a tech mentorship scheme I have been a mentor on, and continue to be, along with email evidence from the organizer thanking me for my contribution to it.
  • 6. Webinars, Articles & Podcasts - Similar to the conference talks, this listed out all webinars I had been a speaker for, articles which I either wrote or features me, and podcasts where I was a guest. In total I included 2 x webinars, 5 x podcasts and 2 x articles. Evidence was either a hyperlink or a screenshot/image confirming each.

Optional Criteria 3 - Commercial/Entrepreneurial Contribution

  • 7. Recommendation Letter - from a Partner of a VC firm where I was a lead on a >£30M investment round, describing my role throughout the investment process, due diligence and post-transaction work
  • 8. Equity - FinTech - This document showed snippets of equity documents for the FinTech scaleup and the value of that equity at the most recent valuation
  • 9. Equity - CyberTech - Same as above but for the CyberTech scaleup
  • 10. Commercial Impact - I chose to include this evidence to really drive home the point around commercial impact. It was 3 x pages of validated numbers and results from the companies I was in for the past 5 years and an explanation for each of how my role contributed to these. Where the evidence was public (e.g. audited accounts) I hyperlinked the results to the public evidence.

Hopefully this helps but let me know if you have any questions and happy to answer.