Being a successful entrepreneur and businessman comes with its own set of responsibilities. Mike Baur understood this even when he started his banking career at 16 years old, becoming one of the youngest apprentices at Union Bank of Switzerland. Working at this particular bank was a big deal, and often apprentices were given an entire timeline of expected promotions up until the day they retired. UBS was a career for most, yet for Baur it was a stepping stone. He worked for UBS from 1991 until 2008, breaking the expected timeline and looking to explore more compatible opportunities. The next stop in his life would bring him to Clariden Leu, where he worked for six years in a high ranking position. Like many of the visionaries in his field, Baur saw the changes that were taking place in the banking world and left in 2014. It was around this time that he became interested in giving back to the growing tech industry. He co-founded the Swiss Startup Factory with Max Meister in 2014, turning the ‘Incubator’ program into a promising tool for young Swiss entrepreneurs. It was the most successful program of its kind, and one that targeted a very important part of the industry.
With Baur’s guidance, the Swiss Startup Factory provides training, funding, mentoring and even office space to some of the brightest local minds. The assistance is generous, lasting up to three months with training. And in a climate where marketing can make or break a company, the educational process provided by Baur’s program is essential in guiding young minds in the right direction. In short, he found a way to raise the percentage of long term success in an area where many are expected to fail.
Baur didn’t shy away from hard work, and continued to improve the reach of the company. He was the juror on several contests that looked for potential upstarts. These pitching contests, many of them related to the START Summiteer, turned into the perfect platform for Baur. With his persistence, the Swiss Startup Factory gained even more recognition and credibility among the industry. Baur’s influence during this same time period is what led to him becoming the deputy managing director of CTI Invest. It was a familiar position with a completely different career trajectory, one that was put into motion by Baur himself. SSUF is diversified, modernized and independent, just like its co-founder Mike Bauer.