Startup Support Programme 2020

Trans Europe Halles calls for emerging civic initiatives with a focus on arts, culture and creativity that are located in re-purposed buildings to participate in the third edition of the Startup Support Programme. This time we’re looking for initiatives in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. 

Trans Europe Halles is a network of people who believe that creativity, grass-roots initiatives and public activism can improve our lives and societies. We are striving to bring a positive change through the cultural revival of (post-industrial) neighbourhoods and its communities. We believe that our work matters and that it reinforces the future development of independent cultural and creative spaces in Europe.

We have always been supporting those who dare, who are curious and who have imagination. With this idea in mind, we launched the Startup Support Programme two years ago. This programme is addressing to socially engaged NGOs that are developing emerging cultural and creative spaces in repurposed buildings.

Within the Startup Support Programme, we carefully look at the challenges each project is having and set up a tailor-made scheme to move towards a sustainable future. This year we will focus on Caucasus countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, that have the potential for many inspiring cultural centres and creative hubs.

What is a Startup?

In our vision, a startup is a civic initiative that is situated in a re-purposed (industrial) building with a focus on creativity, arts and culture along with a Do-It-Yourself / Do-It-Together (DIY/DIT) approach. It is still in its preliminary phase, but is already self-sufficient (either economically or due to people’s dedication), though not yet sustainable.

What has been done within the programme so far?

The programme was launched in 2017 and we have supported six emerging centres in the Balkans and Eastern Europe so far.  Below you can find more information about the process, the participants and their challenges:

We are also proud to share with you a series of publications about the 6 participants of TEH Startup Support Programme. Three of them have already  been released:

What does the Startup Support Programme do?

From 2017 to 2021, the Startup Support Programme is investing in bringing emerging cultural and creative spaces to their next level of development through:

  • Expert consultation and coaching for their teams.
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing involving other emerging spaces in our network.
  • Networking activities during our Conferences and Meetings
  • Access to TEH Capacity Building Programme and activities.
  • Inspirational case studies of spaces in the startup phase.

For the third edition, we are looking for three emerging cultural and creative spaces from the Caucasus region to take part in the programme.
The program will run until July 2020. Eligible countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

You can apply for this programme if

  • You are not a TEH Member or Associate yet.
  • You are located in one of the three eligible countries mentioned above.
  • You are legally established as an organisation.
  • You are repurposing a building for creative, cultural and artistic uses.
  • You have a legal agreement – or you are in negotiation – with the owner of the building about its future use.
  • Your organisation has been operating inside the building for less than two years, or you are planning to work in it in 2020.

We are offering the following

• A scoping visit of two international experts, who have founded and run their own cultural and creative spaces.
• Situation analysis and organisational diagnosis.
• Coaching from TEH peers until July 2020, including a tailor-made workshop at your centre.
• Your case to be included in a publication about the programme.
• Access to a vibrant community of like-minded organisations in Europe.
• Become a TEH Associate for two years.

How does the selection process work?

Your application will be evaluated immediately after the call is closed by the programme’s Selection Committee. It includes five international experts selected among our member centres, our Executive Committee and the staff of our Coordination Office. We will announce the results a couple of days after the call is closed.

What do you commit to if you are selected?

If your cultural centre is one of the three lucky ones selected for this first edition of the programme, you commit to:

  • Actively participate in the programme.
  • Pay a participation fee of 300€. (Which covers two years of TEH associate membership fee, participation in the full program mentioned above.)
  • Present your work to TEH members during TEH Camp Meeting in Timisoara (Romania), 16-20 October 2019.
  • Deliver a short written report about the process, including visual documentation.

How can you apply?

If you wish to apply on behalf of your organisation, SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION before Sunday 1 September 2019 at 23:59 Central European Time.

If you have questions or need help with your application, contact Aiste Baronaite or Mykhailo Glubokyi.

The Startup Support Programme is part of the project Factories of Imagination, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


Experts you will be working with

Development director of IZOLYATSIA, a platform for cultural initiatives and IZONE creative community. Mykhailo has been working with IZOLYATSIA since it’s very beginning in 2011, then rebuilding the foundation after it has been forced to move to Kyiv.

Grew up in Bagdad, Iran. Until 2014 he was the artistic director of the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam. Since 1994 he traveled through the Balkan region extensively. He advised and worked with Red House (Sofia), TICA (Tirana), Akjica (Sarajevo) and PAC Multimedia (Skopje).

Published on June 4, 2019