Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative Fellowship (YTILI) is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship program for emerging entrepreneurs from Europe.
The application period for YTILI 2022 opens on February 1, 2022 and closes on March 15, 2022. For more information, visit https://ytili.org/world-chicago and be sure to apply before the deadline of 15 March 2022.
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 also enables you to travel to the United States and is a vehicle for building a transatlantic network of innovators that can contribute to ongoing policy dialogue that strengthens the transatlantic relationship.
YTILI is also an unforgettable, life changing event living and experiencing the United States. You will explore cultural differences, work experiences, and get to know a variety of U.S. cities. You will have the opportunity to develop strong personal and professional ties with fellow entrepreneurs from across Europe and United States.
The fellowship includes
- A FOUR WEEK fellowship placement in the United States
- A virtual and in-person ENTREPRENEURSHIP curriculum, developed and taught by DePaul University and GEA College
- SMALL GRANTS for alumni to increase professional development
- RECIPROCAL EXCHANGES for some American host organization mentors to assist YTILI Fellows implement project action plans
The Fellowship runs from October 2022 to March 2023, with U.S. travel components
Read about Swiss YTILI alumnus Silvan Kraehenbuehl’s invaluable experience in the U.S.: https://ch.usembassy.gov/swiss-entrepreneur-silvan-visits-u-s-for-ytili-fellowship/
- 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.
Most Important Candidate Qualifications
- Business or Social Entrepreneur between the ages of 25 and 35.
- Be a citizen and resident of Switzerland.
- Able to begin the YTILI Mini MBA Entrepreneurship Curriculum in October 2022 and their U.S. based experience in March – April 2023.
- Eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
- Proficient in reading, writing and speaking English at the time of application.
- Are committed to returning to his or her home country after completion of the program.
- Have not participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Department of State in the past five years.
- Are not residing or working outside of Europe at the time of application.
- Not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years.
- Not a U.S. government employee.
- Have a demonstrated track record of at least two years of experience successfully managing an entrepreneurial venture in their home countries.
- Demonstrated commitment to develop, enhance, or lead an existing venture. During the application process, successful candidates must provide a well-articulated action plan they will work to refine and for which they will seek support during their fellowships.
- Demonstrated viability of their current ventures through indicators such as: investment to date, current or planned number of employees, profits, social impact analysis, and an overall track record of achievement in the field.
- Preference will be given to candidates who have not previously participated in U.S. Government programs or spent significant amounts of time in the United States.
- Self-directed and able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting. Committed to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Demonstrated proficiency in both written and oral English. Participants must have “working-level knowledge of English” which will be verified by WorldChicago.
- “Business entrepreneur” is defined as a person who has successfully started his or her own for-profit business and has successfully maintained the business for at least two years.
- “Social entrepreneur” is defined as an individual who implements an innovative solution to a pressing social challenge employing a job-creating and/or revenue-generating business model. Such social enterprises can be for-profit or non-profit;