Design Switzerland is initiated by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council.
Call for projects

Call for Applications: Starting Power Programme 


1 November 2023


Send your Application until 1 November to the following address


If you have any question about the Starting Power Programme, please contact

Helen Muggli

Starting Power is a call for concepts by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia which encourages and supports the early stages of young designers’ professional careers. This is the fourth edition of this programme and has been designed to specifically support the needs of young Swiss creatives.

Spaces on the programme are limited to six Swiss designers selected from all the design disciplines. Each designer will have the opportunity to work closely and individually with both national and international expert coaches online to realise their very first project since completing their graduate degree.

The expert coaches will support the selected designers individually across the following 4 fields of expertise:

  • Design Coaching; supporting designers on how they approach sustainable design, their choice of materials, end-of-life and circularity considerations to accelerate the project’s development.
  • Business Coaching; helping designers define their business propositions and strategies, forecast their financials, understand pricing and articulate mission statements.
  • Communication Coaching; helping designers to create compelling presentations, identify their audience and produce an effective communication and PR
  • Pitch Coaching; preparing designers to confidently pitch in the future to customers, investors and other stakeholders.

The selected designers will receive financial support of CHF 5’000 to complete the project phase identified during the coaching sessions.

The selected concepts will be developed over 9 months (the start of the programme is January 2024 and it completes by the end of September 2024 latest).

The online coaching sessions are conducted in English and are scheduled individually with the experts.

Key eligibility criteria:

  • Designers are welcomed from across all fields of design but must have graduated within the last year (graduation in 2022 or 2023).
  • The programme supports a designer’s first project, the project should not already be successfully launched.
  • Designers must hold the intellectual rights for their projects.
  • Designers must be able and willing to commit sufficient time to work on their projects over the 9-month programme. Typically, designers will be expected to commit at least 8 hours per week including coaching sessions, preparation, and their own research.
  • Designers are expected to attend appointments with their coaches during normal working-hours.
  • Designers must be fluent in English.
  • Designers must be either Swiss citizens or long-term residents in Switzerland.
  • Pro Helvetia is looking for new and innovative ideas across all areas of design, responding to real and current challenges and addressing important needs within society, the environment, economy and industry.

To take part in the Starting Power Programme, please send your PDF application to  before 1 November 2023, to include:

  • Designers’ name and contact information
  • A short biography and portfolio (including your education, nationality and/or residence status – max 500 signs including spaces)
  • Your concept description including pictures or sketches (max. 3 pages).
  • Description of your motivation to be part of the programme and your objectives for your project

We are looking forward to receiving your application. Applicants will receive notification by beginning of December 2023.

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal ( by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.