Mike Baur co-founded the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF). He is also a managing partner within the company. Mr. Baur has more than 20 years of banking experience. His former employers were UBS and Claridien Leu. The other co-founders of the Swiss Startup Factory were Max Meister, an alumnus at the University of Bern, and Oliver Welzer. He was a juror at the University of St. Gallen’s START Summiteer contest. As of early 2016, Baur was appointed the vice president of CTI Invest. In this period, he also led partnerships with Goldback Group and Fintech Fusion. Baur appeared on the December 8, 2016, Wall Street Journal print edition. This edition explains why Baur became more interested in entrepreneurship than banking.
Baur was raised in the Swiss region of Freiburg. He was a business student at Bern University and the University of Rochester. At the age of 16, he found a banking apprenticeship program at the Union Bank of Switzerland in 1991. During his UBS career in the 90s, he served as an advisor for wealthy Swiss investors. Baur ended his career at UBS in 2008. He had a prestigious job that lasted for almost six years at the Clariden Leu office in Zurich. The “red tape” involved in the recovery from the recession discouraged Baur from continuing his banking career. Mr. Baur left Claridien Leu in 2014. Prior to Baur’s role as VP at CTI Invest, CTI Invest began to collaborate with SSUF to start the Swiss Startup Day event.
Participation in SSUF’s incubator program allows Swiss entrepreneurs to have access to mentors, training in marketing, financing, rent-free office spaces, and networking with other entrepreneurs. At the Start Sumiteer contest, the founders of 30 new companies can make oral presentations on their products, business plans and models to the public. Swiss Startup Factory provides money to companies that have less than $1 million in funds. Experienced experts in finance serve as judges in the contest. The winning startup in this contest has the highest plan aspect ratings. Therefore, they would receive the most in funding. Thanks to the participation of Baur at the START Sumiteer contest, the Swiss Startup Factory turned out to be a trusted and popular incubator in business.
Mr. Baur established Think Reloaded, a financial advising firm, in 2014. The word “factory” is included in the SSUF name because it reflects the industriousness of the entrepreneurs at SSUF’s incubator program. This program differs from other incubator programs because it is privately owned. He is a board member at BV4. In July 2016, an alliance with BV4 and SSUF was established. With this alliance, Swiss Startup Factory can benefit from BV4’s appraisal services. Prestige was less important to Baur than passion. Taking the path of entrepreneurship allowed him to be successful and stick to his principles at the same time. The primary concentrations of Baur at Swiss Startup Factory are financing and fundraising.