When Mike Baur began his banking career in 1991, the 16-year-old had his life laid out for him. The hiring manager at Union Bank of Switzerland explained to him each step on the path in front of him. Life at UBS followed a very particular pattern, a series of likely promotions ending in retirement. The road laid out for him was lucrative and secure, but for Mike Baur this was not enough. He wanted more.
Today Baur is the co-founder and managing partner of Swiss Startup Factory, a startup accelerator that aims to turn startups into global companies that disrupt existing business models. Baur earned over twenty years of experience in banking before moving his gaze to startups. In 2014, he founded Swiss Startup Factory with Max Meister and Oliver Walzer. Since then he has been part of the jury at START Summiteer, partnered with CTI Invest and served as deputy managing director and led the Swiss Startup Factory through its own accelerator program with Goldback Group.
Baur’s road to his current success with Swiss Startup Factory has been both impressive and wholly unique. After beginning his career at UBS in 1991, he received a series of promotions culminating in an important advisory position. Although he found success at UBS, in 2008 he moved on to the Zurich offices of Clariden Leu. He stayed here for nearly six years, but found the red tape of the post-recession banking environment stifling. In 2014, Baur shifted focus to his true passion: helping high-tech entrepreneurs.
To this end, he founded Swiss Startup Factory, an incubator program that aids Swiss entrepreneurs. SSUF gives promising startups funding, offices, training and networking opportunities which dramatically increase their odds of long-term success. Baur sees SSUF as unique because it maintains independence from other businesses or political organizations, allowing it to act without fear of conflict of interest.
The same year he founded SSUF, Baur created Think Reloaded. Think Reloaded provides financial advice for high-end clients. In 2016 he served as deputy managing director for CTI Invest, which partnered with SSUF to arrange Swiss Starup Day. SSUF partnered with BV4, a company that appraises intellectual property, that same year.
Baur still runs Think Reloaded, serves on the board of BV4 and works closely with SSUF. He could’ve followed the path laid out for him by that hiring manager at UBS all those years ago, but his passion and entrepreneurial spirit led him to blaze a new trail and help those Swiss entrepreneurs coming after him.