Courtesy Adrien Rovero

Call for participation: Swiss Design Accelerator

September 3, 2019

Swiss Design Accelerator – San Francisco
12 – 17 January 2020

In collaboration with Pro Helvetia, swissnex San Francisco is pleased to support a selection of young Swiss designers for a tailor made coaching, skill development and matchmaking stay in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

The Swiss Design Accelerator’s aim is to introduce selected young Swiss designers to the US market, especially the Bay Area ecosystem and design related industry by building meaningful connections, creating business opportunities, and cultivating strategies and skills to better operate in this market.

Through this call, we are looking for young Swiss design studios that have a very specific interest and concrete goals towards the US and Bay Area market. The project or product they are willing to bring forward through the accelerator should demonstrate highly innovative qualities and bring game changing and ingenious solutions to challenging realities.

The accelerator’s program will comprise:

  • Specific coaching prior and during the stay to better understand the local ecosystem and business culture as well as develop skills on how to share projects accordingly.
  • A tailor-made matchmaking program based on entrepreneurial goals (meetings with companies).
  • Financial support for travel expenses (a determined amount per studio)
  • Meeting with successful peers established in the area.
  • Benefit from the simultaneous Fog Design Fair 2020 to develop a specific network.

About Pro Helvetia and swissnex San Francisco

swissnex San Francisco and Pro Helvetia are partners in the implementation of a cultural program at the interfaces of art and technology. Pro Helvetia promotes Swiss arts and culture with a focus on diversity and high quality. As the Swiss Confederation’s cultural promotion institution, Pro Helvetia support projects that are of national interest.

swissnex San Francisco is part of the global swissnex Network for international collaboration and facilitates Swiss artists promotion and cultural exchanges with the US West Coast.

With a solid understanding of both the Silicon Valley and Swiss innovation ecosystems, its mission is to connect people and ideas from Switzerland and the San Francisco Bay Area to foster exchange in research, education, innovation, and the arts.

swissnex San Francisco’s long established specific network will enable participants to access key players relevant for the development of their entrepreneurial goals.


Designers may submit their application up to 7 years after their degrees or founding their company.
Designers must show specific and valid business goals in the San Francisco area.
Projects must show a clear innovative approach.

To take part in the 2020 Swiss Design Accelerator, please send your PDF application to: before Tuesday 24 September 2019.

The application file must include:

A maximum 3 page PDF in English comprising:

  • Studio contact information
  • Short biography (max. 500 signs including spaces)
  • Midterm business strategy (3 to 5 years from now)
  • Images of your work (including title, year of creation). Please specify the project you are willing to put forward during the accelerator.
  • Description of your entrepreneurial goals in the USA (max. 800 signs including spaces)
  • A precise statement about the industries you are interested in (retailers, editors, public entities, etc) and the goals you want to achieve during this week.

We are looking forward to receive your application and will get back to you shortly after 4 October 2019.

For questions, please e-mail