EXPERIENCE THE UNITED STATES AS A YTILI FELLOW!
The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) empowers entrepreneurs and innovators with the training, tools, networks, and resources they need to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and job creation, security, and good governance in the region.
In 2018, 70 YTILI Fellows from Europe will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through mentorships at businesses, institutions, and civil society organizations across the U.S. YTILI Fellows will build networks, linkages and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.
Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) of the U.S. Department of State and is supported in its implementation by The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
Entrepreneurs are a driving force for economic development, job creation, security, and good governance across Europe. YTILI empowers young European entrepreneurs and innovators with the tools, networks, and resources they need to turn ideas into action and grow successful enterprises. Recognizing that European entrepreneurs face unique challenges to starting a business, the YTILI program is also a vehicle for building a transatlantic network of leaders that can more fully contribute to an ongoing policy dialogue to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and opportunities for innovation.
- Gain professional experience, skills, and connections valuable to enhancing your business or social venture.
- Network with a dynamic group of experts and mentors in the United States and Europe.
- Expand your professional network and develop relationships with peers and counterparts on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Explore the policy context, financial landscape, and networks of U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- Join the growing network of dynamic European entrepreneurs committed to enhancing the transatlantic relationship and contributing to the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in their home communities.
In 2018, the YTILI Fellowship will engage up to 70 young European leaders in a series of professional development and leadership activities to support the growth and development of commercial and social business ventures in their home communities. Fellows selected for the program will work with teams of mentors to design a specialized program around capacity building as an entrepreneur, innovator, and changemaker. In June, fellows will convene for the opening summit in Portugal to plan for the upcoming fellowship year, network with other European entrepreneurs, and hear from industry experts on best practices in diverse business topics.
Fellows will also participate in a ten-day professional experience in an emerging U.S. economy, designed in collaboration with expert mentors from business, non-profit, and government. At the conclusion of the program, fellows will have an opportunity to share their personal experiences during the closing summit in Washington, DC. U.S. government leaders will meet with fellows to engage in a transatlantic policy dialogue on strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The 2018 YTILI Fellowship year will commence in April 2018 and conclude in December 2018. The cohort of up to 70 fellows will travel to the United States for their fellowship experience in October 2018. The full 2018 YTILI cohort will be connected virtually in pre-departure activities, an online platform, and at the Portugal opening summit in June 2018.
The 2018 YTILI Fellowship year will commence in April 2018 and conclude in December 2018. The cohort of up to 70 fellows will engage in a robust program of in-person and virtual engagement during this time, including travel to the United States, which is the centerpiece of the fellowship experience. The full 2018 YTILI cohort will be connected virtually in pre-departure activities, an online platform, and at the opening summit in Portugal. Additional predeparture and post-fellowship activities may be offered by individual U.S. embassies and consulates in the fellows’ current countries of residence. The following section outlines the main elements of the YTILI fellowship administered by GMF and its partners.
- Orientation Webinar: All fellows will be required to participate in an orientation webinar to review the expectations of the program, launch the online platform, and begin the process of building a unified YTILI cohort. (Online; May 2018)
- Opening European Summit: On June 4–7, 2018, YTILI Fellows will convene in Europe for an opening summit where they will meet their U.S. mentor teams and plan for their fellowship experience. Programming will also include additional professional development, networking, and peer-to-peer learning. U.S. and European experts in entrepreneurship and innovation will participate in the summit. The summit will be an opportunity for the fellows to prepare for the U.S. immersive experience, set goals for their fellowship year, and network across the full cohort of fellows. Additional details on the agenda will be shared throughout the fellowship year. (Portugal; June 4–7, 2018)
- One-Week Immersive U.S. Experience: Fellows will be sent to selected U.S. cities with established or emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems for a one-week (7 business day) experience. During this period, fellows are expected to: (1) participate in activities outlined by the local mentor teams, which will vary by city, but may include individual appointments and/or events set up by the fellow, business advising with mentors, and group cultural activities; (2) explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the U.S. city to understand the policy context, institutional and financial landscape, and local networks that support innovation; (3) complete a revised pitch presentation and reflections of U.S. experience blog post. (October 14–21, 2018)
- Washington, DC, Program: Fellows will conclude their experience in the United States with a program in Washington, DC. This concluding program will focus on three elements: (1) building the YTILI cohort and peer learning exchange; (2) networking with top U.S. government officials, as well as, global public, private, and non-profit leaders; (3) engaging in a transatlantic dialogue around issues of entrepreneurship and innovation. (Washington, DC; October 21–24, 2018)
- Online Platform: As part of the fellowship experience, GMF and U.S. Department of State will offer an online platform for internal exchange and knowledge sharing. The platform will also provide an opportunity for additional training and skills development that complement the U.S. experience. (Online; Fellowship Year)
- Additional Activities: Fellows may be eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund start-up or scaling activities, Travel Grants to conferences, and alumni events and other regional programs. Additional information on these activities will be provided at the start of the program. (Various; Fellowship Year)
Fellowship Requirements and Expectations
If selected as an YTILI fellow, it is expected that individuals will participate in all elements of the program as outlined above and complete the fellowship deliverables as outlined below. Fellowship awards cannot be deferred.
Expectations and Fellowship Deliverables:
- Respond in a timely manner to inquiries and requests from GMF, the U.S. Department of State, and/or identified partners in the U.S. cities;
- Fellows must be eligible to receive a J1 Visa issued by the U.S. Government as a requirement for participation in the program. Selected fellows agree to certain terms and conditions of obtaining a J1 Visa, which are outlined in greater detail on this website
- Conduct oneself in a professional manner and abide by the GMF code of conduct for professional exchanges, which will be provided to fellows at the time of award;
- Review pre-departure fellowship orientation materials, including the U.S. city entrepreneurial ecosystem, communicate with mentor team, and participate in the orientation webinar;
- Research and identify four to six individuals in the U.S. city entrepreneurial ecosystem that would be most beneficial to advancing the fellow’s goals for the YTILI experience. (Deliverable: List of individuals to be shared at the opening summit in Portugal and used for planning with mentor team);
- Complete at least three professional appointments or interviews with identified individuals during the U.S. experience. (Write at least one blog post on the overall YTILI experience suitable for publication on the YTILI Medium page. All blog posts regardless of publication status will be posted on the YTILI online platform for sharing with the YTILI cohort. (Deliverable: Due to GMF by November 30, 2018);
- Participate in all required appointments during the opening summit, U.S. experience period, and the Washington, DC concluding convening;
- Develop a new or refined pitch presentation or video for your venture (Deliverable: Drafts due for peer sharing at the Washington, DC concluding program, October 2018; final pitches will be shared at the conclusion of the fellowship period);
- Develop an Action Plan outlining pre-departure fellowship goals in collaboration with your mentor team during planning at the opening summit in Portugal (Deliverable: Due to GMF staff prior to departure for U.S. experience)
- Develop Post-Fellowship next steps (Deliverable: Due for peer sharing at the concluding summit in Washington, DC); and
- Participate in all fellowship evaluation activities (including electronic surveys) throughout the fellowship year and for up to 18 months following the immersive experience in the United States.
Please note: Fellows are not allowed to have dependents (including spouses and children) accompany them during the fellowship, including the U.S. experience and the European Summit.
Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. Law. Please review the following eligibility requirements for the YTILI fellowship:
- Are between the ages of 24 and 35 by January 29, 2018.
- Are a citizen of one of the participating countries*: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
- Currently resides in one of the participating countries*: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
- Are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 Visa. For more information on the J1 Visa program, please visit: https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/common-questions/
- Have at least two (2) years of entrepreneurial/leadership experience with a startup business or social venture.
- Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
- Are not a U.S. government employee.
- Are proficient in reading, writing and speaking English.
For more information and to apply click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" green button below.