Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) of the US Department of State and is supported in its implementation by The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).
YTILI empowers young European entrepreneurs and innovators with the tools, networks, and resources they need to grow their enterprises and contribute more fully to economic development and job creation, security, and good governance in the region. YTILI is also a vehicle for building a transatlantic network of innovators that can contribute to on an ongoing policy dialogue that strengthens the transatlantic relationship.
In 2019, the YTILI Fellowship will engage young European entrepreneurs in a series of professional development and leadership activities that are designed to support the growth and development of commercial and social business ventures in their home communities. The fellowship includes an Opening Summit in Europe, a week-long experience in a U.S. host city, a Closing Conference in Washington, DC, and online engagement-training opportunities. The 2019 YTILI Fellowship year runs from April 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019 with U.S. travel components planned for September 2019. A detailed overview of the program elements, participation requirements, and expectations is available in the Resources Section of the YTILI page of the GMF Website.
- Gain professional experience, skills, and connections valuable to enhancing your business or social venture;
- Connect 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 a growing network of dynamic European entrepreneurs committed to enhancing the transatlantic relationship and contributing to the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems in their home communities.
Sounds interesting to you? Apply now through the YTILI Website!
See what past YTILI Fellows have to say:
“Being part of the YTILI was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life… [The kickoff event in Lisbon] gave everybody an opportunity to know each other. All of the mentors, all of the entrepreneurs came around from all over the world and they built a network, they built a relationship… When we came to the US, [we all were] very close friends, we were all supportive of each other… I’m pretty sure this is going to continue all the way for years to go.” – Morteza Ghorbani Eftekhar (Denmark), 2018 YTILI Fellow
“Being part of YTILI was motivation to move forward by exploring different markets. On a personal level, YTILI showed me the bigger picture, and business-wise it was a lesson on what innovation truly means.” – Zoran Nasteski (Macedonia), 2017 YTILI Fellow
“The YTILI program and experience has been quite transformative for us… It has given us a completely different perspective on what the future should look like, could look like… I’ve been challenged to think big and think globally!” – Elina Naydenova (United Kingdom), 2018 YTILI Fellow
“It was very inspiring to meet other entrepreneurs and see what they were doing. After coming back from YTILI I made a lot of changes to how my company was run, being able to focus on my startup from a wider angle.” – Paola Belingheri (Italy), 2017 YTILI Fellow
The 2019 YTILI Fellowship year will commence on April 1, 2019 and conclude on October 31, 2019. The cohort of 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 2019 YTILI cohort will be connected virtually in pre-departure activities, an online platform, and at the opening summit in The Netherlands. Additional pre-departure 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; April 2019)
- Opening European Summit: From June 1-6, 2019, 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. Departures will be scheduled for June 6. Additional details on the agenda will be shared throughout the fellowship year. (The Netherlands; June 1-6, 2019)
- 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. (September 7-14, 2019)
- 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; September 15-18, 2019)
- 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 and a mentor may jointly apply for a Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD) mini-grant to support travel and exchange after the U.S. experience in the fellow’s home city. A limit number of TAD and other programs offered by U.S. missions abroad (conferences, alumni events and regional programs) may also be available to fellows in good standing. Additional information on these activities will be provided at the start of the program. (Various; Fellowship Year)
A detailed overview of the program elements, participation requirements, and expectations is available on the GMF YTILI webpage.