Call for Applications: The German Marshall Fund of the United States – Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative


Launched in 2016, the Young Transatlantic Innovation 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.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Are between the ages of 24 and 35 on November 15, 2018.
  • Are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa.
  • Have at least two (2) years of entrepreneurial/leadership experience with a startup business or social venture.
  • Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Are not a U.S. government employee.
  • Are proficient in reading, writing and speaking English.

The list of eligible participating countries includes: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Why apply?

  • 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.

Program Details

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.

Fellowship Selection Process and Activity Timeline:

Activity  Dates
Application release Thursday, November 15, 2018
Application close Friday, January 11, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST
Initial Application Review & Scoring Friday, January 15 – Friday, January 23
Semi-Finalist Selection & Notification of Status Sent to All Applicants Monday, January 28
Semi-Finalist Interviews by US Embassies or Consulates (In Country of Residence)* Monday, February 4 – Friday, February 15
Fellowship Selection Monday, February 18 – Monday February 25
Notification of Status Sent to All Semi-Finalists Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Public Announcements of 2019 Fellows Wednesday, March 6, 2019
European Opening Summit Saturday, June 1 – Thursday, June 6
U.S. Immersive Experience Saturday, September 7 – Saturday, September 14
Washington, DC closing conference Sunday, September 15 – Wednesday, September 18


The deadline for submitting applications is the 11th of January 2019, 5:00 PM (EST).

For questions and support, please contact [email protected]


2019 YTILI Overview
YTILI Overview Selection Process 2019
YTILI Application FAQs 2019
YTILI Application Instructions 2019
YTILI Eligibility
YTILI facebook page

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