Tech Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Education Fellowship in Chicago

Deadline: 15 April 2015
Open to: young professionals and emerging leaders, 25-40 year old from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and USA
Fellowship: four-week fellowship, group training sessions, workshops, participation in the U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C


U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. Participants will complete individually-tailored fellowships in appropriate businesses, government offices, non-profit organizations, or business associations. The program establishes structured interaction among Americans and foreign participants designed to develop enduring professional ties and lasting partnerships.

WorldChicago, an international nonprofit organization based in Chicago,Illinois, has been awarded an FY2015 grant from the US Department of State for 2015 to implement a Tech Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Education Fellowship Program for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and the United States. The program will bring a total of 10 emerging leaders from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia to Chicago for a program from October 11, 2015 to November 13, 2015 that includes 4-week fellowships with Chicago-based businesses, government offices, non-profit organizations, or business associations. Selected fellows will complete individually-tailored fellowships with leading tech -related companies in a variety of fields, government agencies and NGO’s that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and university and non-university technology incubators.


Recruitment and selection of candidates will focus on targeting English fluent emerging leaders (aged 25 – 40) from tech-innovation and entrepreneurship communities working in:

  • Private sector – Recruitment will focus on entrepreneurial leaders from small or startup business ventures in tech fields that have a demonstrated track record of civic engagement and/or social entrepreneurship;
  • Public sector – Recruitment in the public sector will focus on public officials whose work is focused on creation of incubation hubs, promoting job growth in tech fields, and/or the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic development;
  • NGO sector – Recruitment from the NGO community will focus on emerging NGO leaders working on creation of jobs in tech fields and on community-based and educational training programs in tech fields for students, women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized populations.

Competition for the Professional Fellows Program is open to young professionals and emerging leaders, who meet the following criteria:

  • Is a citizen, national or permanent resident of their home country (the program is open for nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and USA);
  • Is living and working in his/her home country at the time of application;
  • Has at least two (2) years of professional experience at the time of application;
  • Submits a complete application, with all required documents, by the application deadline;
  • Is able to begin the Professional Fellows Program in the United States in 2015;
  • Is able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa;
  • Is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program;
  • Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.

WorldChicago will target participants who have a demonstrated track record of leadership, civic engagement, and desire to build lasting connections with U.S. based organizations.


For the participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia:

All participants will stay with volunteer homestay hosts in the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition to the completion of a four-week fellowship, program participants will participate in group training sessions, workshops on corporate social responsibility, and sessions focused on how to create an effective entrepreneurship/investment climate in an urban environment. Selected fellows will also participate in the U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C. at the conclusion of the program. The Congress brings together over 200 Professional Fellows from multiple regions and different thematic areas (legislative, economic empowerment, and the rule of law) for three days of networking and meetings to complement the fellowship.

For US citizens:

In addition to the Chicago-based program, five tech entrepreneurial leaders from Chicago will also be selected for reciprocal exchanges to travel to Central Europe in the winter of 2016. The primary feature of this reciprocal exchange would be a two-day tech innovation summit in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In addition to the tech innovation summits, the participants will learn about the entrepreneurship culture in each participant’s country, conduct workshops in their areas of expertise, and establish mentoring partnerships between the entrepreneurship civic community in Chicago and each country. WorldChicago will work closely with established in-country partners and selected fellows to coordinate the in-country programs.

How to apply?

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Completed application form (your answers to Items 1-24);
  • Your Statement of Purpose in English and in your native language (answers to item 25). Please save as a separate Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document no more than 3 pages;
  • Curriculum Vitae: In English only ((Please save as a separate Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document);
  • Scanned copy of your passport or recent portrait photograph of yourself (Adobe PDF copy preferred).

Applications submitted by email should be sent to John Baum at WorldChicago. Finalists will be invited to interview on a rolling basis.

For more information, please contact:

  • Bosnia –Herzegovina: Zana Karkin, DoIT,
  • Croatia: Tanja Ivanović, HAMAG BICRO,
  • Slovenia: Jernej Pintar, CEED Slovenia,

Check official web-site and read the application call.

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