Mike Baur has brought together different corporate executives and investors to partner in the running of his accelerator program, the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF). This place has one main objective which is to make people’s business ideas possible by putting them to work in a competitive environment right away. Baur is aware of how fast the digital revolution is growing and knows that the entrepreneurs behind these startups will face a lot of obstacles to establishment. That’s why he’s implemented an intense training and mentoring program so that he and other investors will know which businesses most deserve an infusion of capital.
Mike Baur enjoys his work as a startup investor not only because of the money he earns, but because he knows he’s helping others succeed through his incubator and funding. Baur started the SSUF against a backdrop of Switzerland’s economy that may be phasing out or undergoing changes most people thought would never happen while Baur was growing up. Those changes are happening to banking, the industry that defined Switzerland over most of the 20th century. Even Baur at one point may never have guessed his career was going to turn out quite differently than it did.
Mike Baur became an apprentice to UBS Bank, a major bank in Switzerland and an honor that many young men desired at the time. The hiring supervisor at the time even told Baur that if he followed a chart that was being displayed, he’d have his career all set for retirement. Baur did perform quite well on the job at UBS and earned promotions as the chart promised he would, including one role as an advisor who managed the accounts of some of Switzerland’s richest individuals. But just before the 2008 financial crisis hit, Baur decied to leave UBS over some disagreements with his colleagues, and he may have seen the writing on the wall because not long after UBS closed its offices.
Baur joined another bank in 2008 known as Clariden Leu where he had even more success and enjoyed a better position. But unfortunately Clariden Leu’s parent bank Credit Suisse decided to close down the bank where Baur’s office was. Baur joined Credit Suisse for a couple years, but soon he found banking to be too demanding and less rewarding than in the past. So he sought out new ideas and entrepreneurs and after finding several like-minded individuals launched the SSUF in 2014. He also founded Think Reloaded, a financial services company for startup clients.