Mike Baur is a man with dreams for making Switzerland a nation of startups that go throughout the world changing the status quo of the business world. He’s started making this happen by funding startups at his company, the Swiss Startup Factory. But like every other entrepreneur who has built a reputation investing in businesses, Baur believes you need to know three things before setting out to launch a business.
He believes first that it’s up to you to do the ground work to make it happen. Entrepreneurs have to not only get their business idea ready to go; they need to be actively looking for investors and creating opportunities to make the business happen. Second, entrepreneurs should realize nothing will stay the same in business and have a plan to adapt when changes come. No matter how innovative you consider yourself to be, someone is always going to find a way to do things differently and you need to understand when that could affect you. Baur even said that one reason Switzerlnd’s banks have had struggles recently has been their failure to adapt to brand new banking. And finally Baur says entrepreneurs have to be willing to take risks of some sort because fear of failure will get you nowhere.
Mike Baur loves what he does not only because he gets a chance to be in contact with a lot of young people and hear their enthusiasm for starting up businesses, but also because it’s been a huge change of pace from his last job in banking. Baur was very good at crunching numbers and managing accounts at two of Switzerland’s most reputable banks and had planned to spend his entire professional career in banking. He learned the profession as an apprentice at UBS Bank and was promoted several times there. He was a senior advisor for Clariden Leu for several years as well, but the aftermath of the 2008 recession changed a lot of the banking industry, so much so that Baur decided to leave it.
Mike Baur knew he could make investing in startups effective if he brought them from concept to live operation in a quick time, and if he had the right partner network built. He and Max Meister teamed up with several firms to start the program including CTI and Helvetia, and recently they brought Red Bull Media on-board to their marketing team. The Swiss Startup Factory takes in applicants from all over the world and brings them through a three month program prior to taking them online.