The U.S. Embassy in Belarus is happy to announce that the application window for the next generation of Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (#YTILI) Fellows is now open!
The 2019 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program application period closes on January 4, 2019 at 5:00 EST.
To access the YTILI application, please follow the directions in the online portal: https://share.america.gov/ytili/#fellowship
Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovation 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).
YTILI empowers young European and Eurasian 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 an ongoing policy dialogue that strengthens the transatlantic relationship.
In 2019, the YTILI Fellowship will engage young European and Eurasian leaders 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 following document provides detailed information on the fellowship program elements, fellowship expectations, selection process, and timeline.
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 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)
Financial Provisions of the Fellowship
There is no fee to apply to the YTILI Fellowship. The Fellowship does not cover salary while fellows are participating in the program. If selected as an YTILI fellow, the U.S. government will cover the following costs:
- J-1 visa support;
- Round-trip air travel from participant’s current city of residence to the United States and all required program travel;
- All activities related to the fellowship program for the European opening summit, one-week immersive experience in a U.S. city, and Washington, DC closing conference;
- Online platform and related trainings;
- Housing throughout the program (opening summit, one-week U.S. city experience, closing conference);
- Meals and local transportation throughout European opening summit and Washington, DC program; meals and transportation stipend during U.S. immersive experience;
- Accident and sickness benefit plan.
The following items are not paid for by the Fellowship program:
- Airport transfers in country of residence;
- Changes made to airfare already booked by GMF, including any airline fees associated with flight changes;
- Additional food and beverages outside of planned meals of the European opening summit and Washington, DC closing conference;
- Additional food and beverages outside of the meals and transportation stipend provided during the travel days of the U.S. immersive experience period; stipend will be based on U.S. government guidelines for meals and incidental expenses by U.S. city;
- Leisure activities not offered by the program;
- Personal purchases and gifts.
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 November 15, 2018 (the launch date of the application);
- 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.
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.
The U.S. Department of State and The German Marshall Fund of the United States reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.