By the time Swiss businessman and entrepreneur Mike Baur was 39 years old, he had already spent 20 years in the banking industry. Growing up he had always dreamed of becoming a banker. After earning MBAs from both the University of Rochester New York and the University of Berne, he became a commercial apprentice with UBS. He later moved on to the well-respected Swiss financial institution Clarden Leu. By 2014 Mike Baur was on the board of a major financial institution and had two decades experience working in the banking and financial services industry.
At that point Baur was ready for a new challenge. He began making investments in a number of start-up companies. Doing this made him aware of the challenges entrepreneurs faced in getting their companies off the ground and running successfully even when they had a great idea. Mike Baur understood that these budding entrepreneurs hold the key to the future of the Swiss economy and without the right type of support the country’s economic future could be bleak. So in 2014 Baur got together with his friends Oliver Walzer and Max Meister and co-founded the privately financed new business incubator Swiss Startup Factory.
Swiss Startup Factory offers a comprehensive 3-month program designed to help entrepreneurs learn the skills and get the support and connections they need to turn their ideas into viable business entities. Each year Swiss Startup Factory selects several groups of startup teams and puts them through a rigorous, execution driven learning experience that leaves them ready to succeed in the business world. SSF offers financial support and training in all aspects of business development. Plus the entrepreneurs are given offices in the middle of Zurich. When the entrepreneurial team completes the SSF program, they are connected to an international network of investors and business opportunities.
The work being done by Mike Baur and the team at Swiss Startup Factory has been wildly successful. Swiss Startup Factory is now ranked as the top independent new business incubator in Switzerland. Plus Baur also works with a number of other new business incubators to provide help for Swiss entrepreneurs. He was a jury member at the University of St. Gallen’s START Sumiteer where startups pitched their ideas. Mike Baur also partnered with organizations like CTI the Goldback Group and Fintech Fusion to create other business accelerator programs to help make other people’s business dreams a reality.