Southeast Europe

Two-way, global exchange programs designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from Southeast Europe and the United States.

Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Fellows Program (PFP)


About the Program

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Fellows Program (PFP) , administered by WorldChicago, brings emerging leaders from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia to Chicago for short-term fellowships with leading tech-related companies in a variety of fields, government agencies and NGOs that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and university and non-university technology incubators.

The program is a two-way, global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States. Participants are placed in intensive 4 week fellowships in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the United States for an individually tailored professional development experience.

WorldChicago has administered this program since May 2015, and during that short time has hosted over 130 emerging tech and entrepreneurship leaders from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia for one-month fellowships in Chicago.

Eligibility

To participate in the Tech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Fellows Program (PFP) you must be:

25-40 years old;

A citizen and current resident of either: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia;


Speak fluent English to work full-time in a US worksite;

Interested in participating in a reciprocal program for Americans coming to your country;

Have at least two years relevant work experience and be currently employed;

Have demonstrated leadership and collaborative skills;

Have a track record of making an impact in their community, organization or company as an entrepreneur and supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem.


Program Benefits

Each program participant will:

Work in a full-time fellowship placement in a US worksite dealing with issues relating to his or her work at home. While there fellows will gain first-hand knowledge about US organizations and institutions and build networks and relationships with US counterparts.

Participate in a fully-funded program with comprehensive on program support. Travel and living arrangements will be covered as well as emergency health insurance, and visa fees on program.

Become part of the prestigious Professional Fellows Program networks. Alumni will gain access to tremendous resources and an international network of like-minded professionals spanning the globe, including Catalyze, an alumni network of 100 emerging leaders in innovation, entrepreneurship and business supporting organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia.


How to Apply

Applications are currently closed for this program. Please check back frequently for updated information. Questions? Reach out to Jabari Smith, WorldChicago Program Manager, for more information.

Program Information

This is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by WorldChicago.

The program gave me the international perspective on technological advances in the world and introduced the wonderful city of Chicago filled with diversity and bursting with new technological ideas. I was inspired by this experience to create space for new generations in my hometown, to be united in the passion for learning, technology and innovation.

Tanja, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 365 Solutions, Founder

Homestay Hosts

All Professional Fellows Program participants stay with Chicago-area homestay hosts during the program.

100 Fellows hosted in Chicago since 2015

Since 2015, WorldChicago has hosted more than 130 fellows in Chicago for four-week fellowships. Companies and organizations that host Professional Fellows Program participants delegates are then eligible to participate in a fully-funded U.S. State Department-sponsored reciprocal exchange to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, or Slovenia.

Seeking Fellowship Hosts

WorldChicago is currently seeking Chicago startups, tech companies, incubators, co-working spaces, and innovation hubs to serve as fellowship hosts for our PFP Tech Fellows. To learn more about this unique opportunity, contact Peggy Parfenoff for more information: pparfenoffl@worldchicago.org or 312.254.1800 x101.

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WorldChicago Fellow with her host and Board Member, Bruce Leech of the DePaul Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

The greatest gain from my stay in Chicago is the fact that I witnessed how one can transform the young technology students into successful entrepreneurs. Action is what drives society and this cannot be stressed enough.

Goran, North Macedonia, Elevate Global DOO, Co-Founder & CEO

Fellowships

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