YTILI Fellowship: Empowering European Entrepreneurs

The 2019 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program application period opens on November 15, 2018 and closes on January 4, 2019 at 5:00EST.

To access the YTILI application, please follow the directions in the online portal below. Please note that Applicants must first determine their eligibility before accessing the complete application. Detailed application instructions are also available in here.

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 below in the Resources Section of our site.

Why apply?

• 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.

Eligibility Criteria and Selection Process

The YTILI Fellowship selection process is a merit-based open competition. The application period opens on Thursday, November 15, 2018 and closes at 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 4, 2019.

To be eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:

• Are between the ages of 24 and 35 on November 15, 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 reside 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.
• 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.

After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed and scored against the published evaluation criteria available in the YTILI Overview Selection Process 2019 document.

Following the initial review, U.S. Department of State and GMF will select a group of semi-finalists to be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. Notification of the fellowship award will be made by the end of March. Further details on the selection process and application instructions are available in the documents below.

A Facebook Q&A with Staff and alumni will be held on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 to address any additional questions. Make sure to like the YTILI Facebook Page.

Inquiries regarding this program should be directed to [email protected].

Program Details

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)

Fellowship Selection Process and Activity Timeline:

Activity Dates
Application release Thursday, November 15, 2018
Application close Friday, January 4, 2019 at 5pm EST
Initial Application Review & Scoring Friday, January 4 – Friday, January 18
Semi-Finalist Selection & Notification of Status Sent to All Applicants Monday, January 28
Semi-Finalist Interviews by US Embassies or Consulates (In Country of Residence)* Monday, February 4 – Friday, February 15
Fellowship Selection Monday, February 18 – Monday February 25
Notification of Status Sent to All Semi-Finalists Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Public Announcements of 2019 Fellows Wednesday, March 6, 2019
OFFICIAL FELLOWSHIP START DATE Monday, April 1, 2019
European Opening Summit Saturday, June 1 –Thursday, June 6
U.S. Immersive Experience Saturday, September 7 – Saturday, September 14
Washington, DC closing conference Sunday, September 15 – Wednesday, September 18

 

Resources:

Join the YTILI Network
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YTILI Network members have access to an array of online courses and training materials. YTILI Network online courses provide access to tailor-made training videos on leadership, business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management featuring U.S. university professors and experts in their field. These courses are available to take at any time individually or as part of a group.

Management Strategies for People and Resources

This course outlines the essential skills required in leading individuals and organizations, whether it’s solving problems, creating the optimal team, or maneuvering through difficult situations in management.

Fundamentals of Business Expansion

Learn how to raise capital and realize growth by using your business model to assess new markets and potential dates for expansion.

Strategies for Personal Growth

This course outlines the different ways you can develop your business, organization and personal skills.

Community Organizing for Action

Grassroots campaigns and volunteers are essential to the success of most nongovernmental organizations involved in community development. Learn how to inspire and engage volunteers to be proactive in their communities and organize grassroots campaigns.

Fundamentals of Starting and Running a Business

This course explains critical aspects of entrepreneurship, from the process of developing a business, to how to identify and expand in the marketplace, and how to pitch to new investors.

Responsible Leadership on Transparency and Good Governance

This three-part course examines the concepts of transparency and good governance and how their lack in both the public and private sectors can lead to devastating consequences for people and institutions.

YTILI in the News

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Good Work Network, Loyola, and Propeller Host International Entrepreneurs – Loyola University, October 9, 2018

Young European Entrepreneurs Facing Diverse Challenges Benefit from American Mentors – The German Marshall Fund of the United States, August 9, 2018

YTILI Closing Summit Video 2018 – The German Marshall Fund of the United States, May 2, 2018

Trends in Innovation from Young European Leaders – The German Marshall Fund of the United States, April 13, 2018

Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative Fellows – U.S. Department of State, April 10, 2018

Entrepreneurship from Seattle to Cyprus – The German Marshall Fund of the United States, February 13, 2018

Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative Fellows – U.S. Department of State, May 31, 2017

Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative Opens Again for Applications – Nordic Startup Bits, January 2017

Why Doing Business Can Be the Best of Therapies (French) – ChEEk Magazine, January 2017

How to Get One Month in America with Full Scholarship! (Greek) – Huffington Post, January 2017

The Dublin fireman at scene of new transatlantic initiative – The Irish Times, October 2016

Northumberland Entrepreneur Inspired by President Obama – The Northeast Hub, September 2016

Launch of 2016 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) – U.S. Department of State, June 2016

Fact Sheet on Global Entrepreneurship Summit – The White House, June 2016

Meet the young entrepreneur who is taking innovation to the next level – One Young World

YTILI on Medium

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  • Off the beaten startup path Apr 6, 2018
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  • The Inspiration for a New Beginning Apr 5, 2018
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