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



31 October 2021

Starting Power is a call for concepts by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The aim is to encourage and accompany designers in the first steps of their professional career. After a successful first edition that met a need of young Swiss creatives, we are launching a second “plus” version with intensified coaching measurements.

Up to eight Swiss designers from all the professional design branches will have the opportunity to work closely with national and international coaches to realise their very first project since completing their university degree.

The coaches will support the designers in different areas such as content related and material-based topics, Marketing, PR and business development followed by an individual matchmaking programme. The selected concepts will be developed within the next 6 -8 months (end of programme by end of July 2022 latest).

The selected designers will benefit from the following support: 

  • Accompaniment by national and international coaches in 3 different phases:
  • Project development phase (December 2021 – March 2022): Material- and content-based coaching with professionals in different fields
  • Business and Marketing development phase (April – June 2022): Coaching with professionals in Business and Marketing/ PR
  • Matchmaking phase (July 2022): The designers will be part of an individual matchmaking-programme after the completion of the coaching phases
  • Financial support of CHF 5’000.- to complete the project phase identified during the coaching sessions

Eligibility criteria:

  • Designers must have graduated in any fields of design within the last 22 months (graduation in 2020 or 2021).
  • Designers must be new in the business, without any projects on the market yet.
  • Designers must have the rights of their projects.
  • Designers must be able and willing to allocate sufficient time to work on their projects in the coming months.
  • To be eligible, designers must be either Swiss citizens or long-term residents in Switzerland.
  • Pro Helvetia is looking for new and innovative ideas in all areas of design, responding to current challenges and addressing the needs of society, environment, economy and industry.

To take part in the Starting Power Programme, please send your PDF application to before Sunday 31 October 2021, to include:

  • Designers’ contact information
  • Short biography and portfolio (to include your education, nationality and/or residence status – max 500 signs including spaces)
  • Concept description including pictures or sketches (max. 3 pages)

We are looking forward to receiving your application. Applicants will receive notification in November.

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.