Businessman, entrepreneur and retired banker Mike Baur, is concerned about the future of the Swiss economy. But rather than simply wring his hands and lament, he is doing something to improve the opportunities for young Swiss entrepreneurs. In 2014 Baur and his friends Oliver Walzer and Max Meister co-founded a new business incubator called Swiss Start Up Factory. The Swiss Start Up Factory provides the training, mentoring and resources young entrepreneurs need to succeed. The incubator program has done such a great job it’s now Switzerland’s top independently financed business start-up incubator.
Success is nothing new to Mike Baur. He’s a legend in Swiss banking circles. He always dreamed of a career in banking. After completing MBAs at the University of Rochester New York and Bern University, Baur took an entry level position with UBS. Eventually he moved on to one of Switzerland’s top financial institutions, Clariden Leu. By age 40 Mike Baur has spent 20 years in banking and was on the board of a major financial institution. He was well-known and respected in Swiss banking circles. In 2014 he decided to retire and focus on helping others attain their dreams.
Swiss Start Up Factory runs a 3 month long program. Businesses selected to participate in the program learn how to garner financing, are provided with accounting help, teach about marketing, business taxes and payroll and are given a rent-free office in the heart of Zurich, Switzerland. Once the young entrepreneurs complete the program, they’re connected to an international network of investors, funding sources and entrepreneurs. Mike Baur also personally mentors them. These connections and the training improves the new business’ chances of thriving long-term.
In addition to his work with Swiss Start Up Factory, Baur also provides assistance to young businesspeople in other programs. He was a jury member in the University of St. Gallen’s start-up pitching contest called START Summiteer. Baur also worked with the Goldback Group’s accelerator program. He also served as CTI Invest’s accelerator deputy managing director He also worked in partnership with Fintech Fusion. All of the work he has done has enabled Mike Baur to help to make a significant impact on the next generation of Swiss entrepreneurs.
The Freiburg, Switzerland native Mike Baur is creating a new tradition. One where older, more experienced, successful Swiss businesspeople help to prepare the future generations of entrepreneurs the things they need to know to succeed.