Mike Baur is a man of great ambition. He’s had a love for Banking since he was a teenager. So it came as no surprise to anyone when he dedicated much of his early adulthood in the banking industry. By 2014, he had over 20 years of experience working with finance.
He worked for some of the biggest banks in Switzerland, including UBS and Clariden Leu. In 2014, he left the banking world to pursue some of his entrepreneurial ambitions. Along with Max Meister and Oliver Walzer, he co-founded Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF). Swiss Startup Factory is Baur’s primary focus these days.
He also participated in the START Summiteer, a start-up pitching contest hosted by the University of St. Gallen. He served as one of the jury members. In 2016, SSUF partnered with CTI and Baur was named Deputy Managing Director. CTI would not be the last company that takes interest in Baur’s performance at SSUF. Later on, SSUF would partner with Goldbach Group and Fintech.
Baur led the SSUF Accelerator Program. The program focused on helping young tech entrepreneurs set up a successful business. The program offered everything from one-on-one mentoring to full financial support. Baur took a special interest in the Accelerator Program because it combined his love of startups with his love of helping the young succeed.
Swiss Startup Factory is the first privately funded startup support company in Switzerland. Its Accelerator Program was nationwide news for several months. Baur described the program as the number-one program in the country that could actually bring startups to life in 3 months. There aren’t many publically offered programs, anywhere in the world, that can actually do that. Baur takes great pride in telling people about the SSUF’s unique program.
He wants people to know that SSUF enjoys working closely with it program participants. They don’t put people in a room with teachers and give lectures. Participants can interact with founders nearly every day. It gives participants the opportunity to form mentor-student connections, while also giving them direct access to experts.
The one challenge that SSUF often faces with startups is dealing with passion-driven entrepreneurs. Having a passion for the project is a good quality, but too much passion and there’s not enough focus on the real-life business elements. It’s important to always keep startups grounded.