The 2017 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program


The S. Department of State is proud to partner with The German Marshall Fund to implement the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (#YTILI). YTILI brings young European entrepreneurs pursuing commercial and social ventures to the U.S. for an intensive program of exchange, dialogue, and guidance from hosts and mentors across the U.S.

YTILI Fellows will be a new dimension of the Department of State’s network of innovators who will be on the forefront of enhancing transatlantic cooperation, security and prosperity.

Visit the YTILI website to learn more and this innovative program and apply before February 8th (5:00 PM EST) to be one of the 100 European entrepreneurs to take part in this transformative opportunity!

More background information about the YTILI program

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.

In 2017, the YTILI Fellowship will engage up to 100 young European 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.

Program elements

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 (Cohort 1, Cohort 2) 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. Additional pre-departure and post-fellowship activities may be offered by individual U.S. embassies and consulates in the fellows’ home countries. The following section outlines the main elements of the YTILI fellowship administered by The German Marshall Fund of the United States 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; May 2017)
  • 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. (Washington, DC; cohort 1: June; cohort 2: September)
  • 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 inquiries 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. (Assigned U.S. City; cohort 1: June; cohort 2: September)

  • 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. (European City; Spring 2018)
  • 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. (Online; Fellowship Year)
  • Additional Activities: Fellows may be eligible for Innovation Small Grants to fund startup or scaling activities, Travel Grants to conferences, and alumni events and other regional programs. Additional information on these activities will be provided at the start of the program. (Various; Fellowship Year)