Design is a value-creating approach that provides a competitive advantage and fosters innovation within organisations. Indeed, many companies still struggle to integrate design into their practices and few design support programmes are available in Switzerland. Given this context, we address the following question: How can a design support workshop impact the design awareness of Swiss start-up managers? We have created a design support workshop to enabling five start-ups from Western Switzerland to benefit from designers’ skills during four consecutive evenings. The perceptions of the five start-up managers about design awareness were assessed before and after the workshop. Therefore, the results of this publication concern the impact of the design support workshop on the design awareness of start-up managers. In this paper design awareness concept was considered according to (1) areas of design impact (2) the value of design and (3) the roles expected from designers. The workshop programme appears to be effective in enhancing (a) the perception of design impact in the field of customer orientation; (b) the perceived value that design can bring to assist in decision-making and developing strategic directions and (c) the different roles expected of designers by start-up managers.