The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative

The Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) Fellowship Program engages young European entrepreneurs in a series of professional development and leadership activities that are designed to strengthen the transatlantic dialog between business leaders from Europe and the United States and create sustained cross-cultural collaboration.

The YTILI Fellowship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by WorldChicago.

The YTILI Fellows Program is a two-way exchange program designed to strengthen the transatlantic relationship, develop sustainable partnerships between U.S. and European entrepreneurs and innovators, promote regional integration and cooperation in Europe, and encourage European businesses, governments and civil society to develop their innovation ecosystems. The program includes a customized virtual YTILI entrepreneurial curriculum; a fellowship with a business or organization in one of nine U.S. cities; opening and closing conferences; and alumni engagement opportunities.

The 2024 YTILI Fellowship Program will begin with the virtual curriculum in January 2024 with the U.S. fellowship scheduled for April/May 2024.

The 2024 YTILI Fellowship Application is now open! Applications will be accepted through March 24, 2023.

YTILI Team will held the “Ask Me Anything” information sessions for prospective YTILI applicants to provide an overview of the program and answer some frequently-asked questions about the applications. Workshops dates are:

February 13, 2023 at 18:30: #AskMeAnything YTILI Application Overview webinar

Register at

March 15, 2023 at 18:30: #AskMeAnything YTILI Application Workshop.

Register now at

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.


Eligible fellows must:

  • Be a citizen and live permanently in the Republic of Moldova (permanent residents of the Transnistria region may be considered regardless of citizenship) Note: Citizens of eligible countries residing in a different eligible country due to specific geo-political reasons may apply and will be considered by the Department of State on a case-by-case basis.
  • Be business or social entrepreneur, 25 to 35 years old, with a demonstrated track record of at least two years of experience successfully managing an entrepreneurial venture in their home countries. “Business entrepreneur” is defined as a person who has successfully started his or her own for-profit business and has successfully maintained the business for at least two years. “Social entrepreneur” is defined as an individual who implements an innovative solution to a pressing social challenge employing a job-creating and/or revenue-generating business model. Such social enterprises can be for-profit or non-profit;
  • Be committed to returning to his or her home country after completion of the program.
  • Have a demonstrated track record of at least two years of experience successfully managing an entrepreneurial venture in their home countries.
  • Demonstrate commitment to develop, enhance, or lead an existing venture.
  • Have not participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Department of State in the past five years.
  • During the application process, successful candidates must provide a well-articulated action plan they will work to refine and for which they will seek support during their fellowships.
  • Demonstrate viability of their current ventures through indicators such as: investment to date, current or planned number of employees, profits, social impact analysis, and an overall track record of achievement in the field.
  • Be self-directed and able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting. Committed to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in both written and oral English. Participants must have “working-level knowledge of English” which will be verified by WorldChicago.
  • Not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Not be a U.S. Government employee
  • Be eligible for a U.S. J-1 visa. Program participants must return to and reside in Moldova for two years after completion of their program.

Please note:

  • Fellows are not allowed to have dependents (including spouses and children) accompany them during the fellowship component in the U.S.
  • If safe travel is not possible at the time of the YTILI Fellowship, this program will be conducted virtually or postponed.

For more information about the program and application please visit:

If you have questions, please write to:

The deadline for applications is March 24, 2023