Emerging Talents: Starting Power Programme

Applications can be submitted from: 1 September

Target group
Practitioner with connection to Switzerland
Submission deadline
15 October


Up to six young designers are accompanied online by national and international experts to complete their first project after graduating. The development of the project is furthermore supported by a financial contribution.

For Whom

Young designers are considered professional designers of all disciplines who completed their design-relevant training within 12 months before the submission deadline and who have not yet launched any projects on the market.

Selection Criteria

  • Feasibility, high degree of innovation and marketability of the project
  • Demonstrable sustainability concept
  • Copyright and rights of use are held by the project owner
  • Availability and willingness to develop the project, also in the case of employment
  • Good knowledge of English

In addition to these specific criteria, the apply.

Financial Contribution

  • CHF 5,000
  • Individual coaching for project development, sustainability concepts, business strategy and finances, marketing and PR, and pitch training

Content Of Application

  • Short CV (incl. details of training, nationality and/or residency status – maximum 500 characters incl. spaces)
  • Portfolio
  • Concept description with images or sketches (maximum three A4 pages)

Format-specific Exclusion Criteria

The following are excluded

  • Commissioned work and projects that are part of an advertising campaign
  • Unique pieces, craft projects, new editions, collectible projects
  • Promotional platforms or publications

Application Deadlines and Decision Timelines

Applications can be submitted from1 September
Submission deadline15 October
Notification of decisionNovember
Earliest start date for the projectDecember

Additional Information

  • The selected projects will be developed within nine months: Start of the programme by mid-December and end of the programme by the end of September.
  • The online coaching sessions will be conducted in English and are agreed upon individually with the experts.
  • The selection is made by a panel of experts

Applications can be submitted from: 1 September

Image by Data-Orbit and Lucas Manser

General Requirements


Pro Helvetia promotes the professional contemporary Swiss art and cultural production (without film) with a view to diversity as well as national and international reach. It supports the creation of new artistic works and productions, the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions, the dissemination of Swiss art and culture outside Switzerland and international cultural exchange. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia supplements the promotional activities of Swiss cantons and municipalities and only supports projects that are cross-regionally or internationally recognised.

Pro Helvetia will only consider funding applications if they are complete and have been submitted on time.

To be eligible for support, projects must

  • have a clear connection to Switzerland
  • be of nationwide importance
  • be adequately co-funded by other public or private means
  • respects/guarantee fair working conditions

Connection to Switzerland

A connection to Switzerland is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The production or project in question is developed or implemented by artists and cultural practitioners, who verifiably hold Swiss citizenship or are permanent residents of Switzerland and who are regularly artistically involved in relevant events in Switzerland.
  • The project is created, developed, or implemented by an independent group or cultural institution whose place of production is in Switzerland and who is regularly and publicly active in Switzerland.

Nationwide relevance

Nationwide relevance is given, if one of the following conditions is met:

  • The art and cultural practitioners participating in the project are regularly involved in programmes of nationally recognised art and cultural institutions in Swiss regions other than their own or abroad, and the project in question has a transregional appeal.
  • The artistic potential of an emerging art practitioner involved is exceptional in terms of a national or international career.
  • The project makes a significant contribution to the development of Swiss artistic and cultural production and its dissemination.
  • The project is of significant importance for the exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions.

Assessment of content and quality

Within the framework of the available funds, Pro Helvetia prioritises projects that most comprehensively meet the funding criteria. The Foundation assesses whether

  • the project demonstrates high degree of independence and professional competence as well as social and thematic relevance
  • the project is implemented according to professional standards
  • the costs are commensurate with the expected impact
  • a lasting impact can be expected

Furthermore, the Foundation attaches great importance to the following aspects:

  • The project has an appropriate commitment to diversity.
  • Resources are used in an ecologically responsible manner and work and production are planned sustainably.


Pro Helvetia is unable to consider funding requests if

  • the same part of the submitted project is already received funding from other federal bodies (e.g. Federal Office of Culture, Presence Switzerland, Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)
  • the project is part of a school or university curriculum/basic training or continuing education programme (including dissertations, diploma projects, university scholarships, etc.)
  • funding is intended to cover infrastructure and equipment costs, as well as the costs of operating cultural facilities, archives and collections
  • the project does not depend on funding from Pro Helvetia

Status: January 2024