This exchange will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation in the climate change sphere, including renewable energy; energy efficiency and sustainability; environmental engineering; climate adaptation; resilient and clean technologies; carbon reduction; food production; design;
or other innovative fields addressing climate challenges today and in the future.
The goal is to provide university students, business start-up leaders, and founders between 20 and 25 residing permanently in Austria with intensive, hands-on entrepreneurship education and leadership development training, as well as a greater understanding of U.S-Austrian collaboration on business-focused climate change solutions.
Entrepreneurs help countries respond to specific problems, demands, or gaps in the market by identifying and pursuing new business opportunities; entrepreneurs and startups generate economic value, create jobs, and accelerate development, while often delivering social and environmental benefits for the customers and communities they serve.[A1] As such, this program should give participants first-hand and theoretical knowledge of founding, financing, and growing a startup in climate change-focused sectors, as well as how to maintain momentum and spur additional growth through programming, promotion, and networking opportunities.
This program, which would take place between July and September 2023, should highlight the U. S. entrepreneurial ecosystem of a particular U. S. city or region that excels in climate change entrepreneurship.
The program should include an in-person component in the United States that will expose participants to American culture, values, and business practices and highlight the United States as a destination for future business partnerships, investment, and ongoing education.
The U. S. component should be preceded and followed by a substantial programming and educational component in Austria (in-person and virtual, as local health regulations allow) to include networking with Austrian leaders in the business and climate sectors; team building; pre-departure orientation, and knowledge and sector expertise-building elements.
This component should also include engagement and mentoring opportunities with alumni from previous U. S. entrepreneurship exchange programs.
As this will be a cooperative agreement, U. S. Embassy Vienna will have substantial involvement in this effort including participant selection and approval of the program structure and content of the U. S. component.
The Public Diplomacy Section of the U. S. Embassy is providing maximum flexibility for applicant organizations to offer program models that effectively meet the overall goals of the program.
In addition to those listed above, required elements of the program are as follows:
- Participants should learn about the essential elements of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and how these elements inter-relate.
Participants should have the opportunity to experience these elements in a local U. S. community through interactive, hands-on training, which might include, for example:
presentations, meetings with entrepreneurs, social events, or business pitch presentations.
Internships or practicums in businesses, NGOs, innovation hubs, or economic/business-related organizations could also be included.
- Participants, specifically those with already established start-ups, participants should have interaction with top companies, founders, incubators, and venture capitalists in both countries.
- Social entrepreneurship:
Participants should learn how entrepreneurial principles can be addressed to remediate social ills, and how entrepreneurial concepts can spur civic action.
- The program should include elements for post-program engagement with the Austrian participants that includes mentoring and supporting participants as alumni of this and other similar programs.
- The recipient will identify specific and measurable outputs and outcomes based on the project specifications provided in the solicitation.
Additional program goals include:
- Promote the awareness of future Austrian entrepreneurs of the entrepreneurial ecosystem as practiced in the United States.
- Encourage identification of the United States as a destination for future business partnerships, investment, and ongoing education.
- Foster professional and personal ties with local entrepreneurs and U. S. citizens in the local community.
- Promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Austria.
Participants and Audiences:
Target audience and participants are students, business start-up leaders, and founders between 18 and 29 residing permanently in Austria, including aspiring entrepreneurs or youth actively engaged in a start-up.
[A1]Pulled from https://www.state.gov/connecting-climate-entrepreneurs-cce/