Our Alumni

Our alumni come from a wide range of disciplines and we are proud to empower a diverse community of next generation innovators from Switzerland through our programs.

Our Programs

We offer different programs to empower the next generation of innovators with the relevant mindset, skill sets, and networks to create systemic change and to contribute to futures in which our planet and societies thrive:

Startup Bootcamps

The 2-week Startup Bootcamps include toolbox sessions, fireside chats, networking events, a pitch night and more. This unique opportunity gives startups strategic advice to internationalize, visibility and a home base to succeed in the US.

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Swiss Design Accelerator (SDA)

The goal of this accelerator program in collaboration with Pro Helvetia is to introduce selected upcoming Swiss designers to the US market, in particular the Bay Area design ecosystem by building meaningful connections, creating business opportunities, developing strategies and acquiring skills to better operate in this market.

SDA 2022


Game Developers Conference (GDC)

To support Swiss game studios with building relationships with the international game industry and to access the global market, Pro Helvetia and Swissnex in San Francisco co-organize the SwissGames delegation and targeted activities for the selected Swiss game studios looking to advance their skills and career.

GDC 2023


Agora Prize

The winners of the Optimus Agora Prize are awarded with a scientific communication traineeship at Swissnex in San Francisco in collaboration with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

2022 Agora Prize Winners


Immersion to Action 

A transformative 2-week program designed to support established and emerging talents in science journalism and multimedia storytelling, helping participants develop new ideas, practices, and models aimed at creating engaging and immersive digital experiences around science, society, and the wider issues facing us today.

2023 Immersion to Action Program


ECAL Residency

The Media & Interaction Design Residency Award is providing ECAL students with an art residency at Swissnex in San Francisco to equip them with the relevant mindset, skill sets, and networks to allow them to advance their diploma project.

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ZHAW Staff Mobility Program

The ZHAW Staff Mobility Program connects ZHAW staff with the Bay Area ecosystem to strengthen their international network and intercultural competencies.

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Mentoring Program

Call for Mentors and Industry Experts

Become a mentor and share your industry know-how and contacts with our programs participants (startups, creatives, researcher, students, etc.).

Experts and mentors can be based in Switzerland or the US West Coast. During a minimum of 1 session (30-60 minutes), you will discuss and/or challenge the program participant's strategy for engaging with the US market. The amount of time you spend beyond the initial session is up to you.

Mentoring is on a voluntary basis/pro bono. We offer benefits such as access to our co-working space at Pier 17 and invitations to special events.

Apply Here
Apply Here