The 2019 Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative Looks For Young European Entrepreneurs For it’s Next Fellowship
Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovative Leaders Initiative Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) of the US 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 on an ongoing policy dialogue that strengthens the transatlantic relationship.
In 2019, the YTILI Fellowship will engage young European entrepreneurs 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 fellowship includes an Opening Summit in Europe, a week-long experience in a U.S. host city, a Closing Conference in Washington, DC, and online engagement-training opportunities. The 2019 YTILI Fellowship year runs from April 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019 with U.S. travel components planned for September 2019. A detailed overview of the program elements, participation requirements, and expectations is available below in the Resources Section of our site.
- 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.
See what past YTILI Fellows have to say:
“Being part of the YTILI was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life… [The kickoff event in Lisbon] gave everybody an opportunity to know each other. All of the mentors, all of the entrepreneurs came around from all over the world and they built a network, they built a relationship… When we came to the US, [we all were] very close friends, we were all supportive of each other… I’m pretty sure this is going to continue all the way for years to go.”
– Morteza Ghorbani Eftekhar (Denmark), 2018 YTILI Fellow
“Being part of YTILI was motivation to move forward by exploring different markets. On a personal level, YTILI showed me the bigger picture, and business-wise it was a lesson on what innovation truly means.”
– Zoran Nasteski (Macedonia), 2017 YTILI Fellow
“The YTILI program and experience has been quite transformative for us… It has given us a completely different perspective on what the future should look like, could look like… I’ve been challenged to think big and think globally!”
– Elina Naydenova (United Kingdom), 2018 YTILI Fellow
“YTILI taught me to be courageous, encouraged me to follow my dreams, and in the end, even if I fail, I will simply be a wiser entrepreneur and a more experienced leader.”
– Christina Athanasopoulou (Finland), 2017 YTILI Fellow
“This was a really unique experience in terms of pitching experience, learning from peers, learning from mentors, visiting lots of places and learning about the ecosystem [here]… In a very short time…I learned a lot. ”
–Farrukh Aliyev (Azerbaijan), 2018 YTILI Fellow
“It was very inspiring to meet other entrepreneurs and see what they were doing. After coming back from YTILI I made a lot of changes to how my company was run, being able to focus on my startup from a wider angle.”
–Paola Belingheri (Italy), 2017 YTILI Fellow
The 2019 YTILI Fellowship year will commence on April 1, 2019 and conclude on October 31, 2019. The cohort of fellows will engage in a robust program of in-person and virtual engagement during this time, including travel to the United States, which is the centerpiece of the fellowship experience. The full 2019 YTILI cohort will be connected virtually in pre-departure activities, an online platform, and at the opening summit in The Netherlands. Additional pre-departure and post-fellowship activities may be offered by individual U.S. embassies and consulates in the fellows’ current countries of residence. The following section outlines the main elements of the YTILI fellowship administered by GMF 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; April 2019)
- Opening European Summit: From June 1-6, 2019, YTILI Fellows will convene in Europe for an Opening Summit where they will meet their U.S. mentor teams and plan for their fellowship experience. Programming will also include additional professional development, networking, and peer-to-peer learning. U.S. and European experts in entrepreneurship and innovation will participate in the summit. The summit will be an opportunity for the fellows to prepare for the U.S. immersive experience, set goals for their fellowship year, and network across the full cohort of fellows. Departures will be scheduled for June 6. Additional details on the agenda will be shared throughout the fellowship year. (The Netherlands; June 1-6, 2019)
- One-Week Immersive U.S. Experience: Fellows will be sent to selected U.S. cities with established or emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems for a one-week (7 business day) experience. During this period, fellows are expected to: (1) participate in activities outlined by the local mentor teams, which will vary by city, but may include individual appointments and/or events set up by the fellow, business advising with mentors, and group cultural activities; (2) explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the U.S. city to understand the policy context, institutional and financial landscape, and local networks that support innovation; (3) complete a revised pitch presentation and reflections of U.S. experience blog post. (September 7-14, 2019)
- Washington, DC, Program: Fellows will conclude their experience in the United States with a program in Washington, DC. This concluding 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 non-profit leaders; (3) engaging in a transatlantic dialogue around issues of entrepreneurship and innovation. (Washington, DC; September 15-18, 2019)
- 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. experience. (Online; Fellowship Year)
- Additional Activities: Fellows and a mentor may jointly apply for a Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD) mini-grant to support travel and exchange after the U.S. experience in the fellow’s home city. A limit number of TAD and other programs offered by U.S. missions abroad (conferences, alumni events and regional programs) may also be available to fellows in good standing. Additional information on these activities will be provided at the start of the program. (Various; Fellowship Year)
A detailed overview of the program elements, participation requirements, and expectations is available on the GMF YTILI webpage: http://www.gmfus.org/ytili-fellowship
Seed The Future – A deep dive into European early-stage tech startup activity
Tech.eu recently released a data-driven report on early-stage tech startup activity in Europe, developed in close partnership with Stripe and Techstars. It’s the first time anyone has ever undertaken research on early-stage technology startup activity on such a scale.
The report – baptised ‘Seed The Future – A deep dive into European early-stage tech startup activity’ features vetted data from a wide range of sources, insights, case studies and additional voices from across the European tech industry. Running a little north of 100 pages, it’s simply the greatest resource to date for anyone with an interest in exploring the state of early-stage tech in Europe.
Best of all, it is completely free of charge.
Here are the key take-aways of the report:
Looking at the period 2015 until Q2 of 2018, investment in early-stage technology companies across Europe has increased four-fold, from roughly €875 million invested in the first six months of 2015 to more than €3.6 billion in H1 of 2018. Total funding in European early-stage tech startups jumped by 36% from 2016 to 2017 (from €14.3 billion to €19 billion), with all signs pointing to another major increase for this year.
The data also shows that ‘Fintech’ and ‘Medtech’ have been the most popular industries for investors, generating over €4 billion in early-stage funding in the past three years, far outstripping other sectors. Also worth noting: while the UK continues to lead on overall and growth-stage funding, the most remarkable growth in the early-stage bucket was seen in France, where financing is well on its way to surpass the UK this year.
For more data and insights, download the free report here.
Secure Your Place at The Startup Europe Summit 2018
The fourth edition of the Startup Europe Summit takes place on 15 November, in Sofia, with 400 key actors from the European startup “ecosystem”. The event will bring together some of the best European startups with investors, media and policy makers. Aside of interesting speakers, who will be analysing key technological and policy trends for European startups, the event provides a great opportunity to mingle with people building the European startup ecosystems, identify new funding opportunities and get a feel of what is happening in the startup world, notably from Central Eastern Europe and Western Balkans regions.
Keynote speakers this year include Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Simon Schaefer, Founder & CEO of Factory, President of Startup Portugal and Angel Investor in Europe and Anja Monrad, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Dell EMC and chair of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board. The meeting will also be attended by Boyko Borissov(tbc), Prime Minister of Bulgaria, as well as Yordanka Fandakova (tbc), Mayor of Sofia. You can consult the programme here.
This year’s Startup Europe Summit will be linked to the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, launched earlier this year by the European Commission. The aim of this initiative is to support the transition of the region and bring the benefits of the digital transformation to its citizens, by helping modernise public administrations, strengthen cybersecurity, increase connectivity, and improve the business climate.
The region has major assets with its large pool of talented people with strong ICT skills, dynamically growing start-up community and its rapidly improving infrastructure, connectivity and proximity to large markets. The digital transformation is also crucial for the growth of this Region – it can help transform local economies and societies while creating high-quality jobs.
The conference would also be an opportunity to be briefed by experts from the European Commission on the progress in establishing a Digital Single Market policies and what we are doing to support the growth of startups and young innovative companies and to help to SMEs to help take advantage of the digital transformation.
10 Million Euro Call – Info Day & Networking Event on 12 September 2018 | Topic: Startup Europe for Growth ICT-33-2019 / Innovation Actions
An information and networking workshop is organized by DG CNECT regarding the Innovation Actions of Startup Europe for Growth ICT-33-2019.
Budget: €10 Million.
Opening of the call: 16 October 2018,
Closing: 28 March 2019 17:00.
A budget of 10 million euro will be distributed among ecosystems builders and leaders who want to work with other ecosystems across Europe. We are looking for organisations aiming at “Connecting local tech startup ecosystems and supporting cross-border activities: among the 4-5 startups ecosystems connected by each project, at least half of them will be located in less developed ecosystems. The project should develop a single online entry point to each one of the ecosystems and connect them to the Startup Europe one-stop-shop. Cross-border activities will include: connecting tech entrepreneurs with e.g. potential investors, business partners, accessing skills and services helping startups soft land in new international markets. Particular focus will be placed on stimulating partnerships between scaleups and corporates with a view to procurement, mergers or acquisitions. Similar attention will be placed to support SMEs, startups and scaleups, wherever situated in Europe, to access public procurement opportunities across borders.”
The whole text of the call is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/ict-33-2019.html
The Workshop will take place on 12 September 2018 in Brussels in the European Commission’s, MADOU Auditorium, Place Madou 1, 1210 – Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode.
The event targets potential applicants to the calls for project proposals under the Horizon 2020 ICT-33-2019 topic.
10:00 – 10:30 Welcome address
10:30-11:00 ICT-33-2019 Startup Europe for Growth topic presentation
11:00-11:30 Proposal evaluation: expert perspective
11:30-12:30 Questions and answers
12:30-13:30 Networking lunch
13:30-15:30 Presentation of ideas for proposals
15:30-17:00 Networking between participants
For participants interested in presenting their project idea, please write a short email, attaching your one slide presentation to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 September.