Tech Nation Visa Alumni Network

The Tech Nation Visa Scheme makes it possible for tech talent from around the world to come and work in the UK’s digital technology sector. Since launching the scheme in 2014 we have endorsed over 400 Tech Nation Visa candidates from all over the world.

Join the network

We hold regular monthly meet-ups for our alumni, alongside online forums as well as practical and professional advice for our visa holders.

If you have been approved a visa and would like to join the alumni network and we will get in touch.

CONTACT US

Please email us at: visa@techcityuk.com

Why did you choose the UK?

Where are our alumni from?

 

 

What is your background?

My background is in property law and having worked as a lawyer for 8 years in Australia, I quit my job and started Made With Glove, a wearable tech company in Manchester after winning a wearable tech hackathon.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?
When it came time to apply for the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent Visa, there was no doubt that I wanted to stay in Manchester. Manchester has a great start up tech community and it doesn’t take one long to fit into the tech ecosystem here. The people are so friendly and welcoming and there are some notable women in the tech ecosystem that made the transition (for a newbie like me) into tech so much easier.

What are your current plans?
While I am working on my wearable technology fashionable heated gloves, I am also actively encouraging more girls into STEM by delivering wearable fashion tech workshops in Manchester and online. This is because the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%.

My wearable tech fashion workshops teach girls that they can use electronics and technology to create something tangible, and allows them to be creative while solving a problem so they can then consider a career in STEM.

What is your background? 

Nine years ago, I started my digital technology career as the first Entrepreneurship Development Manager for Nazareth’s economic development centre. Here my role was intended to create an Arab tech sector in Israel from scratch, to help address the significant social and economic challenges faced by this community. My support helped raise financing for 89 new tech ventures from the Arab sector in Israel, totaling £11.2m from public, private investors and donors.

I wanted to continue to open up opportunities for personal and professional development to my peers that had simply not been there before, and be a figurehead for showcasing our talent to new technology industries. I choose to take on my next role with the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and started my first role as the Arab sector manager for UK Israel Tech Hub, where I have been for the past four years. This step simultaneously enabled me to use an international public diplomacy platform to promote Arab entrepreneurship, but also widen my own lens, by exposing me to new fields of digital technology. Since then I have moved to become the Hub’s creative industries manager and now head of the UK office.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

I believe the UK is entering a new era of embracing technological innovation. This will create new opportunities for the tech sector, and new challenges. My experience of working from the margins to the mainstream has given me a unique outlook on how to tackle these challenges. I'm eager to help create an efficient ecosystem, ready to win the global race.

What are your current plans?

I’m currently based in London, leading the UK office  of the UK Israel Tech Hub. The Hub is a UK government initiative, launched in 2011 at the British Embassy in Israel. It helps drive economic growth in both countries by facilitating tech partnerships between the two countries, so  British companies help Israeli innovation go global, and Israeli innovation give British companies a  competitive edge.

 

What is your background?

I have a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a MBA. From Colombia, Entrepreneur since I can remember. Founded a company in Colombia in 2004 and sold years after. In the UK, I have worked for startups as well as big companies and also have had companies of my own.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

UK is the more dynamic market to be in if we speak about tech after the US. We are well ahead than other countries and I think it is fair to say in we are at the same level as the US in terms of quality (When you build software). Also people here are early adopters what it helps startups to be able to innovate, try new things and be first globally.
 
What are your current plans?
 
After being in involved in different ventures with other people, I have decided to go alone and bootstrap a new business CWorking. 
 
CWorking is a platform that gives tools to build connections, get advice and get training to start and grow businesses.

We are putting together a community of mentors and entrepreneurs in technology, business, and operations to help grow faster, quickly ascend the learning curve and help you avoid the mistakes that many founders make along the way.

What is your background?

After leaving university in Singapore, I lead the software development for an innovative start-up, Fast-Foods.net which enabled fast-food restaurants to provide online ordering. The business was an equivalent of Deliveroo but way ahead of its time. He then leveraged his pioneering work to help corporates such Toyota, Disney and the Singapore government to implement innovative digital initiatives. His passion for combining technology innovations to advance commercial objectives lead him to achieving an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management in UK. Thereafter Haja, in  a senior executive role,  led the digital transformation of the £4 Billion annual turnover Saint-Gobain UK which consists of brands such as Jewson. He helped set up and grow the eCommerce for building materials and numerous transformational digital initiatives.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

I was initially in the UK when i applied for the Tier 1 exceptional visa. The reason for switching into the category is that the UK presented vast possibilities in my areas of interest, specifically around Fintech and eCommerce. The UK continues to be a leader in both these areas. My digital career has also focused on enabling solutions through user centered design. The UK again was a leader in this space. Hence the UK was a natural choice based on my area of focus and aspirations. On a more personal note, the cultural proximity between my home country, Singapore and the UK meant that i was comfortable raising my children within the UK education system.

What are your current plans?

In March 2016, Haja decided to pursue his long term vision of helping start-ups scale by setting up a venture fund, combining his in depth experience in both the start-up and corporate worlds. This has led to him co-founding, Homegrown UK. Homegrown is a property crowdfunding platform which now provides investors access to quality residential development projects previously reserved for High Networth individuals. In addition, Haja is investing in and mentoring start-ups in the e-commerce and fintech / proptech spaces.

 

What is your background?

I have a degree in Geographic Information System (GIS), and many years of practice with Ruby on Rails software development and hands-on experience in Computer Vision. I like to work with very specific and quite unusual problems. One of the examples of my projects is Petiole. It solves a problem of agriculture scientists for effective leaf area measurement using a mobile phone. 

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

I think that the United Kingdom is a country with many open doors, particularly in the area of agriculture technologies. UK Agriculture research is one of the most prominent in the word; the UK's government in its Agritech Strategy declares a big interest in tomorrow's agriculture. Geopolitical changes also create new niches for businesses including technologies. That is why I understood that this country now is the best place to implement my agritech solutions.

What are your current plans?

My goal now is to bring high technologies into agriculture and improve efficiency of processes in the agrifood chain. My team supports me in this.

After establishing contacts with a couple of agriculture universities and research institutions like Rothamsted Research and Royal Agriculture University, we obtained positive feedback on our mobile app. We got a clear message that our product is interesting for them and continue our work on the next release of Petiole.

Also, we are organising London Agri Startup Crash Test, a regular meetup for startup founders, developers, marketing specialists, and investors focused on agriculture. The event is aimed at strength test of business models, marketing strategies, distribution, roadmaps, etc., of startups in agriculture technologies.

What is your background? 
 
I have been working as a software engineer for over five years across finance, gaming, advertising, and sharing economy. In 2016, I was the CTO of a sensor fusion startup that leverages AI and IoT. It was backed by Entrepreneur First. In 2014, I co-founded a weekly tech podcast, DevZen, for more than 4,000 regular listeners per episode. Unfortunately, it's in Russian only, but I have a plan to make a branch in English. I hold Bachelor’s with distinction and Master's from Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, with a focus on stream data processing and big data analysis. When I was a student I participated in scientific research and published eight papers on quite different topics varying from nanoscale research using atomic-force microscopes to applications of big data in highly-loaded distributed systems. I also actively participated in tech meetups in conferences.
 
Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?
 
In 2016 I've got accepted to the best European tech accelerator in London - Entrepreneur First to build my deep tech startup from scratch. I came to the UK having a six-months single visitor visa for business. After several months in the accelerator, both my co-founder and I were applying for Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas to be able to set up a company in the UK. I had to my move back to Belarus for a couple of months to get my new visa because I couldn't switch to it from the inside. Although we've raised a pre-seed round from Entrepreneur First, our startup didn't work out very well. As a result, my entrepreneurial visa became not very useful for me due to many limitations associated with it like work restrictions and the requirement to invest 50K into the UK. So I had to switch to another type of visa, and Tier 1 Exceptional Talent sounded like a great choice because it gives a freedom to work as an entrepreneur or as an employed software engineer or as a contractor. So, in fact, during 2016 I was able to get three visas for the UK. It was a great journey!
 
What are your current plans? 
 
Currently, I'm working on my company called High Dimension. We specialise in AI strategy advisory and implementation. We help marketplace driven businesses in financial markets, programmatic advertising, and the sharing economy make faster, more automated decisions using data engineering, machine learning and quantitative research. 

What is your background? 

I was born and raised in Israel, and after a short stint as an economist post-university I built a career in product management and strategic business development in the local tech industry, and obtained an MBA from INSEAD in France. In 2011, our family moved to the UK, unfortunately just after the HSMP visa was shut down. I joined HP in the UK to lead its consumer product team, and then moved on to a sales leadership role. In 2014, as my Tier-2 (ICT) visa was reaching its renewal window, I decided to hop on my wife's Tier-4 (student) visa instead, and leave corporate life for a smaller company where I could have greater impact on strategy--that's when I joined Canonical/Ubuntu to build its cloud alliances business. 

 

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

Having been a tourist in urban London many times before our move, I never expected it to be such a friendly, diverse, and comfortable place to raise a family. I'm also continuously amazed by the founders and start-ups I meet that create amazing b2b and infra companies on this side of the ocean. London is so much more than adtech or fintech, and that richness can help it build an ecosystem that could last for generations to come. The UK also offered good universities, like the LSE, where my partner pursued her PhD.

 

What are your current plans? 

Part of the move to the Tech Nation visa was driven by an ambition to join a technical founding team as a commercial leader, and this is what I’m doing as of autumn 2017. I’m also a co-chair of the visa recipient community, and continue to advise software start-ups.

What is your background?

My name is Alejandro Saucedo, I am currently leading and growing the deployed engineering team at Eigen Technologies - a Machine Learning scaleup based in London and NY. I'm originally from Mexico City - I came to the UK in 2011, where I studied Computer Science at the University of Southampton. Since then I have worked at tech giants, started multiple companies, and led the delivery of several multi-national projects.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

I believe UK and Europe as a whole have a lot of potential as technology hubs, not only because some of the most prestigious universities are based here, but also because these countries carry  a lot of legacies within (such as the industrial revolutions). I also feel there is a huge amount of history and a unique opportunity to interact with endless cultures, which opens even more doors of opportunities across the world.

What are your current plans?

I am currently working at Eigen Technologies, a research-driven Machine Learning startup in London. I am leading and growing what I aim to be one of the most ambitious and smartest set of engineers in Europe who will be working with leading global organisations in research-led Machine Learning projects.

 

What is your background?

With more than 16 years of experience in Information Technology and Cyber Security Management field, coupled with numerous prestigious professional certifications from trustworthy organizations of Digital Technology, such as ISACA, EC Council, British Standard Institute, ITIL, Microsoft, and Cisco. Moreover, I’m a Founder of Cyber Security Awareness and Women Empowerment Platform website, as well as a Book Author for Women Empowerment and Personality Development Techniques.  

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

A relative newbie, I relocated to the UK on November 2016. Having been endorsed by Tech City as an Exceptional Talent in Cyber Security, and decided to embark a new chapter in her career life in the UK. I believe in the outstanding Diversity and Equal Opportunity System in the UK, and the booming technology that demands cyber security experts from all over the world to develop the community as well as their skills and expertise rapidly.

What are your current plans?

I’m based in Manchester, and working for a well-known organization within the Telecommunication Industry, TalkTalk, as an Information Security Awareness Manager. I’m hoping to contribute to the digital technology society in several aspects by improving the cyber-security awareness schemes, participation in conferences, seminars, discussion panels, and promoting the Tech City Visa program.

What is your background?
 
I'm from South Africa and have been a professional software developer almost all my working life. My focus has ranged from web services to encrypted communications to finance. Outside of work, I'm a great fan of the outdoors and cannot read enough books! 
 
Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?
 
I chose the UK because of its strong supporting infrastructure for entrepreneurs, especially in the financial technology sector. There is so much opportunity here, and if you put in enough effort you can make a success. With fintech, the UK is arguably the top country in the world and the industry is flourishing.
 
What are your current plans? 
 
I'm currently working on expanding my own company, BVNK. We are a fintech company that focuses on financial inclusion in developing markets, and we also have applications in the UK and Europe we are implementing. We provide financial infrastructure for banks, governments, mobile networks and businesses. You can read more about our product at https://bankai.co and more about our company at https://bvnk.co.

 

What is your background? 

I am a senior marketing leader and business strategist with 10+ years’ experience launching 80+ new products which generated £120MM+ sales for Fortune 500 companies in the USA and digital tech startups in San Francisco and London. These efforts helped deliver £260MM+ in revenue over my career.

I founded my own strategic consulting and coaching business, Fowler James LLC which works with high potential entrepreneurs from the USA and UK to identify the fastest and most effective ways to successfully launch and commercialize products, expand customer bases, drive sales and build both a business and brand.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries? 

The initial inspiration for my company came from a London entrepreneurial event, where I met innovative startups who were struggling to get their products adopted and I realized that I had the skills they needed to grow their business.

As I studied the tech startup scene, I could see how much potential the UK offered.  The UK exhibits the highest digital tech percentage of GDP in the world at 10%.  London in particular is an ideal place to grow a business because it has a global competitive advantage in digital tech. As a major multicultural English speaking capital city and global business center located at the world’s crossroads, it attracts digital tech entrepreneurs from around the globe seeking all of the resources that Silicon Roundabout uniquely offers. This includes a pool of diverse STEM and business talent, capital and training from entrepreneur incubators and venture capitalists, government support, opportunity to collaborate with top UK tech research universities, a healthy growing economy and excellent entrepreneurial communities and work spaces.

What are your current plans? 

Because of the Tech Nation visa, I have been able to bring my business, Fowler James LLC to the UK this year and continue to contribute my talents to help businesses grow strategically, successfully launch products, expand existing customer bases and improve customer experiences.  I have a particular interest in working on projects where digital technology is used to improve the lives of others and has a socially responsible impact. I am extremely fascinated with health tech, AI (artificial intelligence) and edtech. Down the road, I would like to open my own VC (venture capital) firm that provides equal opportunity for gender, race, age, etc. as well as a business incubator to grow the pipeline.

 

What is your background?

I am a Mobile Data Systems Engineer with very strong skills in Network Computing, IP/MPLS Technologies, Network Security, Mobile Packet Core, Project Management, and Leadership. I have 10 years’ experience in developing Mobile data solutions for Mobile Telecommunications Operators in Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, Sierra-Leone, Nigeria and United Kingdom. I studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering in the University and also did my MBA with focus on Leadership for change and innovation.

Why did you apply to come to the UK over other countries?

I am very passionate about using Digital Technology to make positive and sustainable impact in the society so that people will be able to live, work and play with ease. I chose UK above other developed nations because it is a digitally-inclined environment, with an increasing need for products and services that will provide solutions to many problems we face in different sectors of the economy. I see myself as someone that will play a pivotal role in achieving this. 

What are your current plans?

I am presently working with O2 Telefonica UK as a Principal Engineer for Mobile Data Services. I have played a key role in developing solutions such as the high speed MPLS transport network carrying Internet and voice services for O2 customers. Other solutions are the Smart M2M products, Network security solutions and high capacity Evolved Packet core platforms. On the other hand, I work with the O2 Thinkbig in mentoring teenagers on how to develop mobile apps, Internet of Things (IOT) products and how this can be used to make positive impact in society.

 

Tech Nation Visa Ambassadors

Our Tech Nation Visa Ambassadors represent the scheme both in the UK and around the world. As well as promoting the scheme through their own channels and networks, they act as examples of what Exceptional Talent means in practice. Explore their backgrounds and skills by clicking through their profiles below.

Click on their profiles below to find out more about each one of our ambassadors​

 

Michelle Hua
Australia
Dona Haj
Israel
Andrés Castaño
Colombia
Haja Jahabardeen
Singapore
Andrey Seleznov
Ukraine
Svetlana Bozkho
Belarus
Alejandro Saucedo
Mexico
Noha Khalil
Egypt
Kyle Redelinghuys
South Africa
Susan Fowler
USA
Tunde Obasola
Nigeria
Udi Nachmany
Israel