Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovative 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).
Entrepreneurs are a driving force for economic development, job creation, security, and good governance across Europe. YTILI empowers young European and Eurasian entrepreneurs and innovators with the tools, networks, and resources they need to turn ideas into action and grow successful enterprises. Recognizing that European entrepreneurs face unique challenges to starting a business, the YTILI program is also a vehicle for building a transatlantic network of leaders that can more fully contribute to an ongoing policy dialogue to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and opportunities for innovation.
The 2018 YTILI class was announced in April of 2018 with 70 fellows from across Europe and Eurasia and 31 American mentors from across nine different U.S. cities: Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, New Orleans, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Washington, DC. The entire group met for the first time to kick off the 2018 Fellowship year in Lisbon, Portugal in June. Fellows had the opportunity to network with each other and their host city mentors in advance of their U.S. Experience in October. Programming included additional professional development, networking, and peer-to-peer learning. U.S. and European experts in entrepreneurship and innovation participated to deliver workshops on pitching, getting feedback, and U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystems. The summit also provided an opportunity for the fellows to prepare for the U.S. immersive experience and set goals for their fellowship year.