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Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program 2017

Application Deadline: February 6, 2017 at 5:00EST.

The 2017 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program application period opens on January 9, 2017 and closes on February 6, 2017 at 5:00EST.

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 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.

The 2017 YTILI Fellowship year will commence in May 2017 and conclude in May 2018. The cohort of up to 100 fellows will be divided into two groups that will travel separately to the United States for their fellowship experience. The full 2017 YTILI cohort will be connected virtually in pre-departure activities, an online platform and at the concluding summit.


Expectations & Fellowship Deliverables:

  • Respond in a timely manner to inquiries and requests from GMF, the U.S. Department of State and/or identified partners in placements or U.S. host cities;
  • 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 professional placement and U.S. host city entrepreneurial ecosystem, and participate in the orientation webinar;
  • Research and identify 4-6 individuals in the placement or U.S. host 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 during Washington program);
  • Complete at least 3 professional appointments or interviews with identified individuals during the placement period. (Deliverable: at least one internal (YTILI-cohort only) blog post to be posted on YTILI online platform summarizing insights or reflections from the professional appointments. Due prior to the fellow’s departure from the U.S.);
  • 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: Cohort 1 blog post due to GMF by September 1, 2017; Cohort 2 blog post due to GMF by December 1, 2017);
  • Participate in all required appointments during the Washington program, city placement period and concluding summit;
  • Fulfill obligations of the professional placement as outlined by the host;
  • Develop a new or refined pitch presentation or video for your venture (Deliverable: drafts due for peer sharing at the conclusion of the placement period; final pitches will be shared at the concluding summit);
  • Develop an Action Plan outlining post-fellowship next steps (Deliverable: due for peer sharing at the conclusion of the professional placement); and
  • Participate in all fellowship evaluation activities throughout the fellowship year and for up to 18 months following the placement period in the United States.


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 home city to the United States and all required program travel.*
  • All activities in the Washington, DC orientation program, two-week professional placement in a US city and the European summit.
  • Online Platform and related trainings.
  • Housing throughout the program (orientation, two-week placement, summit).*
  • Meals and local transportation throughout Washington program orientation and European summit; meals and transportation stipend during two week professional development experience.*
  • Accident and sickness benefit plan.


  • 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.
  • Washington, D.C., Program: Each traveling cohort of fellows will begin their experience in the U.S. with a program in Washington, DC. This orientation 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 nonprofit leaders; (3) connecting fellows with key experts and mentors to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and expertise.
  • Two-week Professional Placement: Following the Washington, D.C. program, fellows will be sent to selected U.S. cities with established or emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems for a two-week (10 business day) placement with a host organization. During this two week period, fellows are expected to: (1) participate in activities outlined by the host organization, which will vary by placement, but may include work on specific projects; (2) explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the host city to understand the policy context, institutional and financial landscape, and local networks that support innovation; (3) complete a series of individual inquiry and professional development activities designed to build their entrepreneurial core competencies and leadership skills. In each city, GMF will designate a local ambassador who will serve as a resource for the fellows and support GMF in coordinating group activities and required appointments. The professional placement period will conclude with a group meeting to discuss key deliverables outlined in the following section and to discuss next steps.
  • European Summit: In the spring of 2018, YTILI Fellows will convene in Europe for a concluding summit that will include additional professional development, networking, and peer to peer learning. Selected US city ambassadors will participate in the meeting along with European experts in entrepreneurship and innovation. The summit will be an opportunity for the fellows’ to discuss their progress, reflect on the fellowship experience, and network across the full cohort of fellows. Additional details on the agenda will be shared throughout the fellowship year.
  • 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. placement experience
Activity Dates
Application release Monday, January 9, 2017
Application close Monday, February 6, 2017 5pmEST
Initial Application Review & Scoring February 7-24, 2017
Semi-Finalist Selection & Notification of Status Sent to All Applicants Week of February 27th
Spring 2018Semi-Finalist Interviews by US Embassies or Consulates (In Country)* March 6-17, 2017
Completion deadline for required semi-finalist survey March 17, 2017
Fellowship Selection & Notification of Status Sent to All Semi-Finalists Week of March 20th
Visa Processing for Selected Fellows April-May
Cohort Travel 1 June 2017
Cohort Travel 2 September 2017
European Summit Spring 2018


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the  Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program 2017


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