YTILI Fellowship Program


The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program is a two-way exchange program for emerging entrepreneurs ages 25-35 from Europe. The program’s goal is to promote mutual understanding, enhance entrepreneurship and leadership skills, and build lasting partnerships between business leaders from Europe and the United States. YTILI Fellows spend five weeks in the United States including an opening program, entrepreneurship training, individually-tailored placements with businesses or relevant organizations, and participation in a closing event in Washington, D.C. American participants then travel to Europe to support a regional summit and work with YTILI Fellows on joint projects in their workplaces and communities.

Program Length

5 - 6 weeks

Eligibility and Application Overview

Public applications are accepted.

Applicants must:

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application.
  • Be a citizen of, and currently residing in, one of the 45 participating countries: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
  • Be eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
  • Have a demonstrated track record of successfully growing their own business or social venture for at least two (2) years.
  • Be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English.
  • Not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Not be a U.S. government employee.
  • Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexuality, national origin, disability or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law.
  • Applicants with disabilities are eligible and encouraged to apply for the YTILI Fellowship Program.

Applications for the 2021 YTILI Fellowship Program open on January 4, 2021. Please see for more information. 

WorldChicago is the implementing partner for the U.S. Department of State’s YTILI Fellowship Program. For further information, please contact the WorldChicago program team at

Country-Specific Information

Application Overview

The YTILI Fellowship Program is an open, merit-based competition. There is no cost to apply.

The YTILI Fellowship Program candidate selection committee will use the following criteria to evaluate applications and interviews:

  • Demonstrated understanding of how your personal and professional goals align with program objectives.
  • Demonstrated professional entrepreneurial experience and knowledge.
  • Demonstrated leadership, social consciousness, and commitment to community or public service, mentorship, or volunteerism.
  • Demonstrated intercultural competence and preparedness for participation in a five-week U.S. experience.
  • Positive attitude and demonstrated initiative and perseverance.
  • Commitment to your home country and to applying entrepreneurial and leadership skills, experience, and knowledge to benefit your community and country.

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