InnoTour USA 2012

innotour 2012 2

EYIF co-organised Europe’s first ever InnotourUSA, a joint EYIF, US Department of State and the US Mission to the EU programme, in February 2012. To select the cream of Europe’s Young Innovators for this programme, EYIF designed and hosted an online pan-European competition, promoting it through a massive online and social media campaign, attracting an audience of more than 75,000 unique participants.

Finally, a delegation of ten young innovators was selected from eight European countries (Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain). They embarked on a tour of innovation centres across the United States including Silicon Valley, Boston and Washington DC, getting closer insights to America’s Innovation culture and best-practices, pushing forward the innovation agenda, opening a dialogue with their American counterparts and being inspired to improve the Innovation Ecosystems in their communities across Europe.

Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation to Hillary Clinton officially welcomed the InnotourUSA delegation at the US Department of State. Later on the tour, the delegation both visited and met the leaders of Stanford University, IDEO, Plugandplaytechcenter, RocketSpace, Menlo Ventures, Harvard Rock Centre for Entrepreneurship and Berkman Centre for Internet, MIT TRUST Centre for Entrepreneurship, HubSpot, Cambridge Innovation Centre and MassChallenge.

The InnotourUSA generated a lot of interest on both sides of the Atlantic and was featured on the Boston Business Journal.

innotour 2012

InnotourUSA delegation at US State Department, Washington D.C and Boston Business Journal, Boston, Massachusetts

How was the experience? Find out from our participants: 

Sofia Esteves, InnoTour participant from Portugal: Alec Ross says we have the magical ecosystem, although as we discussed with him there are several cultural and social issues leaving us behind. We clearly need to change our mindset in Europe to enable us reaching the potential that others recognize in us.

Blog posts:

— 

Background:

InnoTour USA is the unique Program that European Young Innovators Forum runs in partnership with the U.S. Mission to the EU, and aims to bridge the 2 sides of the Atlantic when it comes to the topic of innovation. 

From 12-22 February 2012, a delegation of ten young European innovators and entrepreneurs embarked on a ten-day mission to the United States. Starting in Washington DC, they visited major American hubs of innovation like Boston and Silicon Valley, interact face-to-face with top innovation practitioners and experts, experiencing first-hand best practices of turning innovative ideas into successful projects and businesses. More than just a study tour, Innotour USA is a cultural exchange that has a broad and lasting impact, building bridges between Europe and the U.S. on a common quest for innovation and development.