Budding entrepreneurs in Europe have until 15 March to apply for the US Department of State’s flagship programme to boost business skills in and with the US.
The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) is a two-way exchange programme aimed at developing partnerships between European and US innovators and promoting and nurturing innovation ecosystems.
Programme participants will follow a customised virtual programme starting in July 2022. Then, from 10 October, they will spend five weeks in the US where they will experience entrepreneurship in action in one of nine US cities through a fellowship placement.
According to the website, each fellow will “participate in and observe the operations of a host U.S. organization from his or her business sector. Through collaboration with their fellowship host organizations, Fellows will accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success by developing action plans to carry out upon their return to their home communities.”
Organisers stress that if it is not safe to travel at the time of the latter, the fellowship element will be hosted virtually.
In the US, participants will have a chance to attend the opening conference in Chicago, Illinois where YTILI Fellows will participate in an orientation, workshops, seminars, and one-on-one dialogues.
“From these critical conversations, Fellows will discover how the resilient tools of entrepreneurship and innovation have launched an economic rebirth as they prepare for their U.S. fellowship placement,” organisers say.
Upon completing their placements, fellows will be invited to attend the closing conference, where regional winners will take part in a pitch competition. That is not all. Starting in March 2023, fellows and fellowship hosts will be offered professional development, mentoring, networking and alumni activities.
At the same time, alumni will have a chance to apply for grants for projects that seek to meet the goals of the YTILI, i.e. promoting transatlantic partnerships, enhancing entrepreneurial skill development, and sustaining professional exchange and collaboration.
To be eligible, participants must be aged between 25 and 35 by 15 March 2022, be a business or social entrepreneur, be a non-US citizen and be able to write and speak in English.
Since launching in 2016, some 300 alumni from across Europe have participated in the YTILI.