Behind every great entrepreneur is a great story. Mike Baur has one of the most inspiring and impressive stories of all. Every entrepreneur should at least hear his story before venturing into any business. Baur’s story begins with an apprenticeship at a Union Bank of Switzerland.
While getting a job at a bank doesn’t sound remarkable, how he got the job is. The hiring manager, so impressed with Baur’s aptitude, listed every promotion he thought Baur could achieve before retirement. Despite the aspirational prediction, Baur’s path would take him to numerous companies, and eventually, to his own firm.
After 17 years with UBS, Baur wanted to try something else. In 2008, he joined Clariden Leu, another bank with offices in Zurich. He achieved the same high-level positions he served as at UBS, but he wasn’t as happy as he wanted to be. Bankers must devote much of their time to navigating their way through red tape.
All that work crushed Baur’s love of banking. After six years with Clariden, he left to follow a lifelong passion: entrepreneurship. He partnered with Max Meister and co-founded Swiss Startup Factory. SSUF was the first independent incubator program firm that targeted young tech entrepreneurs.
While a lot of startups participate in SSUF’s Accelerator Program, only the promising startups get additional services. SSUF often supplies these startups with funding and encourages them to compete in pitching contests. Every contest is different, but most involve new enterprises publicly speaking about their products and being evaluated by seasoned experts.
While building SSUF’s credibility, Baur also founded his own company, Think Reloaded. His financial expertise also led to him becoming Deputy Managing Director of another company. Two years later, CTI and SSUF collaborated and created Swiss Startup Day. Then SSUF formed another partnership with BV4, which Baur and Meister both direct.
Swiss Startup Factory is an incubator firm like no other in the nation. It’s the only big-name program that’s 100 percent independently funded. Other big programs have rules and limits set by their parent company or political organization. SSUF can jump on opportunities without facing repercussions.
The success of SSUF is also about building Switzerland’s economy. By helping as many new enterprises as possible, SSUF is ensuring a brighter economic future for their country and neighboring countries.