Trustees of Tomorrow Exchange Program
Nova Ukraine is proud to partner with Global Youth Entrepreneurs to support Silicon Valley-Ukraine Youth Entrepreneurial Exchange Program
GYE’s Trustees of Tomorrow (ToT) Exchange Program engages youth across borders and engenders shared entrepreneurial spirit and cross-cultural affinity through collaboration. ToT is the first balanced exchange initiative to entrust participants with the power over programming.
To build long-term trust and goodwill between future generations in Eurasian countries and the United States through self-initiated two-way exchange opportunities and entrepreneurial partnerships between secondary school students.
Timeline (Phases 1–3, Cohort 1)
- U.S. Exchange in Silicon Valley: March 28, 2020, to April 7, 2020
- Virtual Follow-on Projects: April 20, 2020, to Dec 18, 2020 (there will be breaks)
- Reciprocal Exchange in Ukraine: Winter Recess 2020–21
Phase 1—10 Day U.S. Exchange
- A team of three Ukrainian high school students, one from each of Kryvyi Rih, Kyiv, and Ternopil, travels to Silicon Valley, California, U.S.A, for a 10-day exchange.
- A team of three high school students in Silicon Valley is primarily responsible for exchange planning and implementation. These high school students host the Ukrainian visitors in their homes
- The participants are based at Stanford University during the day, receiving mentorship from the fellows of Stanford’s Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program and Stanford students and faculty
- During the exchange, the local and visiting participants work together to create an entrepreneurial project of their own design that seeks to bridge a current gap in cross-cultural connection. This should be a new platform or service that either directly engages their home communities or communities around the world, or which combats a problem in one of their home communities by drawing on the cultural experience of their exchange partners
- The group receives feedback on its project during educational visits to the offices of civic and non-profit leaders, industry professionals, and businesspeople and entrepreneurs
- The team of U.S. students reaches out to members of the Ukrainian diaspora in the U.S. to organize a cross-generational diaspora-unifying networking event designed to provide the exchange participants with opportunities and connections in the United States
- The U.S. students organize a three-day event that gathers the Ukrainian visitors with aspiring high school entrepreneurs from around the area and expert mentors in innovation, diplomacy, and development. Officers from the Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco may interface with the students. This event is based on GYE’s past “Startup Weekend / Startup Camp” events in Tbilisi, Georgia, Portland, Oregon, and Amman, Jordan.
Phase 2—Virtual Follow-on Projects (6 months)
- The U.S. and Ukrainian participants continue collaborating on projects begun in the U.S., bringing them to the point of viable enterprises or non-profits.
- The U.S. and Ukrainian sides hold weekly calls
Participants commit a minimum of 7 hours per week to their project
Phase 3—14 Day Reciprocal Exchange
- The U.S. participants from Phase 1 travel to Ukraine for a 14-day exchange with Ukrainian participants from Phase 1 (Cohort 1), along with a new cohort of 3 U.S. Silicon Valley students who will meet with a new cohort of three Ukrainian counterparts (Cohort 2) in parallel
- The Ukrainian students from Cohort 1 are primarily responsible for exchange planning and implementation
- Cohort 1 pitches its creation to private investors, government agencies, companies, and foundations in Ukrainian countries. Cohort 2 repeats Phase 1 but now in Ukraine (except without organizing a Startup Camp event, which is a responsibility of Cohort 1). Both cohorts visit all three home cities of Ukrainian participants
- Ukrainian students from Cohort 1 organize a culminating event in Kyiv similar to the one organized by the Cohort 1 U.S. students with organizational support from the U.S. students as needed, as well as smaller single-day events in Kryvyi Rih and Ternopil
- At the end of Phase 3, Cohort 1 formally ends the program cycle and becomes part of a program alumni network
Phase 4: Cohort 2 then implements 6-month Virtual Follow-on Projects
(see Phase 2)
- The U.S. student participants from Cohort 2 organize a U.S. exchange for the Ukrainian participants from Cohort 2, alongside three new students from Silicon Valley and 3 new students from Ukraine (Cohort 3)
- At the end of Phase 5, Cohort 2 formally ends the program and becomes part of the program alumni network
The cyclical, self-sustaining program design allows for future programming that adapts to the needs and demand for programming in different areas across the region.