FY2018 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI): Pitch Training and Competition Request for Proposals

 YLAI Program Summary

The Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. In fall 2018, 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean will expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and organizations across the United States. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute and the individualized Fellowships, YLAI Fellows will accelerate their commercial and social ventures’ success and develop specific action plans to carry out upon return to their home countries. YLAI Fellows will build networks, linkages, and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures. YLAI 2018. Fellows will participate in the following program components:

  • U.S. Conferences: Fellows participate in an opening and closing conference, where they will expand their networks in the U.S. and throughout the region, strengthen their capacity to lead, and enhance their entrepreneurial skills through plenary sessions, workshops and trainings. In 2018, the YLAI Launch will take place from September 20-22 in Detroit, Michigan and the Closing Forum in Washington, DC from October 21-23.
  • Four-week Fellowship: With U.S. fellowship hosts in their fields of expertise, YLAI Professional Fellows gain valuable professional development skills at entrepreneurial organizations or companies across the United States and work jointly on an action plan to be implemented upon Fellows’ return to their home countries. Fellows are placed in entrepreneur clusters of 12-15 people in twenty cities throughout the U.S.
  • YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute: YLAI Professional Fellows expand their leadership, entrepreneurial, and management skills and knowledge through online and in-person trainings and projects that complement their U.S. Fellowship.
  • Post-Fellowship Sustained Engagement: After successful completion of the U.S. Fellowship and YLAI Entrepreneurship Institute, YLAI Professional Fellows continue their collaboration with U.S. partners and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentorships, networking, and alumni activities. YLAI Professional Fellows will be eligible for a chance to welcome a Fellowship Host to their country to share expertise and expand the hosts’ understanding of the entrepreneurship climate in YLAI Professional Fellows’ home countries.

About YLAI Fellows

YLAI Fellows have a demonstrated track record of successfully growing their own business or social venture for at least two years and are between the ages of 25-35 years-old. The 2018 YLAI cohort will be composed of approximately 65% business entrepreneurs and 35% social entrepreneurs.
Industries represented in previous YLAI cohorts: Education, Food and Beverage, Consumer Products, Business Services, Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment, Tourism and Transportation, NGOs, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Energy and Utilities, Manufacturing and Construction
Learn more about YLAI here: ylai.state.gov.

Pitch Training & Competition

Meridian International Center is seeking a partner with expertise in the creation of pitch training materials and the design and implementation of a pitch exposition for 20-30 and competition for the top 3 YLAI entrepreneurs in the scale-up phase of their business or organization. The purpose of the pitch training, exposition, and competition is to give Fellows opportunities to develop, advance, and practice their business pitch, and to receive feedback from peers and experts. Partner will re-design training materials, competition scoring and selection criteria to align with YLAI mission.
Guidelines, Timeline, and Minimum Deliverables

Pitch training (by August 16)

  • Review and revise training materials
  • Source a speaker to deliver a webinar

Design Pitch Exposition and Competition for DC conference (By August 24)

  • Recruit and prepare YLAI Pitch judges (for YLAI Exposition and YLAI Pitch Competition)
  • Design and disseminate YLAI Exposition rules and parameters for participation, electronic application and application selection criteria
  • Design Sunday YLAI Exposition, at which selected participants deliver short pitches on their product, business or venture to a select number of local judges.
  • Determine standardized style and format for presentation board for Fellows (for YLAI Exposition)
  • Develop and disseminate event objectives, guidelines and evaluation criteria for YLAI Exposition and YLAI Pitch Competition judges
  • Determine YLAI Pitch Competition format, including length of pitch, presentation parameters, audience engagement, etc.

Administer Pitch Competition (October 21-23)

  • Provide in-person support to oversee operations at conference on Sunday and Tuesday
  • Oversee set up and smooth roll out of Sunday YLAI Pitch Exposition
  • Work with local print shop to facilitate Fellows’ design and creation of Exposition signage and print in DC
  • Monitor budget
  • Oversee evaluation, selection, and announcement of winners
  • Ensure transparency with scoring system, to Fellows and judges

Proposal Items

  1. A short (1-2) paged proposal describing your vision for the Pitch Training and Competition, including:
    a. Bio or Institutional profile
    b. Capacity and relevant experience
    c. Staffing
  2. Budget and Budget Narrative
    a. The total budget for the development, delivery and facilitation should not exceed $12,000


Please submit proposals to ylai@meridian.org