September 7, 2022
Taking place from November 7–November 13, 2022 in San Francisco after a one-month online preparation program, the Swiss Design Accelerator will introduce the selected Swiss-based designers to the US market with a focus on the Bay Area and its design industry. The goal of the program is to build meaningful connections with relevant industry players and create business opportunities while acquiring skills to better operate in this specific ecosystem.
The program presents an eclectic selection of studios who bring innovative processes to design meaningful products:
- Mikafi develops an intelligent coffee roasting machine
- Paula Cermeño León works on sustainable and circular projects related to plant-based wellbeing and skincare
- YVY creates leather statement pieces
Discover the three design studios selected for the third edition of the Swiss Design Accelerator in San Francisco:
Mikafi aims to become the world's most beloved digital coffee roastery. They are revolutionizing the way we consume coffee – with coffee that, for the first time ever, can be created and roasted online or in a shop location.
Mikafi are a team of designers, engineers and business enthusiasts building a well synchronized coffee roasting ecosystem containing an electric tabletop roasting machine, a digital platform to manage coffee and involve the end user to transform coffee roasting into a sensuous experience. They do everything to enable coffee selling businesses to serve the next generation of coffee experiences with unique and ultimate fresh coffee.
Mikafi’s mission is backed by The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Innosuisse, other research grants, a VC as well as private investors.
Paula Cermeño León
Paula Cermeño León is a product designer born in Peru, now based in Lausanne (Switzerland). Her projects are focused on biodiversity and our relationship with plants. Since her studies in Product Design at ECAL (École cantonale d'art de Lausanne), she has been combining tools of industrial design with research of natural materials and circular strategies. She values the synergy between design and the natural sciences, and has carried out recent projects both with local businesses in Lima, Peru, as well as through a six-month residency at La Becque Résidence d’Artistes in La Tour-de-Peilz.
In just a few years, YVY became one of the leading independent brands for statement leather accessories. An unexpected combination of Swiss quality and perfectionism, Italian leather expertise, and Hollywood exposure put Yvonne Reichmuth’s brand on the fashion map. While blurring the lines between clothing and accessories, the aesthetic and identity of YVY has become clearer than ever. Its specialization made YVY instantly distinguishable and resulted in a high recognition.
Every piece is designed by Yvonne and is then brought to life in her studio in Zurich, Switzerland by her and her team; while some pieces are made in partnership with Italian artisans. All collections are made out of the finest Italian leather, primarily vegetable-tanned, proving how seductive sustainability can be.
The program is divided into two chapters:
Virtual – October 3-31, 2022 (part-time)
- Individual coaching sessions
- Meetings with key potential partners
- US skill building session
In person in San Francisco – November 7-13, 2022 (full-time)
- Individual coaching sessions
- Follow up meetings with key potential partners
- Networking events
- Visibility on the US West Coast through events, content and media
The program is a collaboration by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Swissnex in San Francisco. Pro Helvetia, under the label Design Switzerland, aims to connect emerging Swiss designers with the international markets at key industry events, and enable them to gain visibility, build professional networks and reach their business goals.
Swissnex’s experience and established network will enable the studios to access key industry experts from the US West Coast and to reach their entrepreneurial goals.