Mike Baur is behind a growing movement in Switzerland to make early stage startup businesses into thriving companies with huge capabilities. Baur has also teamed up with several venture capital firms and investor groups who helped him form the Swiss Startup Factory incubator. Startups not only based in Switzerland but coming from all over the globe have a chance to come here and get pushed quickly from being in their skeleton early stage form, to having a real structure that can be profitable to investors. Baur decided to talk about his work at the SSUF with Ideamensch, a blog highlighting entrepreneurs in many industries.
Baur told Ideamensch that he felt a lot of startups he was seeing out there had good beginnings, but didn’t have enough substance behind them to be taken to the open market. He felt the SSUF could make them into better quality startups by taking them through startup boot camp and other testing periods. He said some people were discouraging him from his accelerator plan because the Swiss government had already offered grants for this, but Baur was glad he went through with it because so far hundreds of startups have been launched through the SSUF portfolio. Baur also said he likes to get most of his electronic communications out of the way before his day takes off because he loves interacting with clients face-to-face throughout the day as part of his job.
Mike Baur is almost always seen with a smile on his face and his ability to build relationships in business is what has helped him be successful everywhere. Before putting all his resources into the SSUF, he was an expert advisor and accounts manager for two large Swiss banks. He learned much of the banking profession as an apprentice for UBS Bank in the early days, but then he rose through the ranks in commercial banking and was highly recommended by many wealthy investors in Switzerland for investment advice. He moved from UBS to Clariden Leu bank where he was on the management team, but even as he had achieved this position, Swiss banking had taken a downturn and by 2014 Baur decided to leave.
Mike Baur had time to pursue his interest in startups full-time upon leaving banking, and he formed Think Reloaded as his first venture capital investment firm and the start of the SSUF. He eventually partnered with Max Meister and brought the support of Helvetia and Goldback Group to backing the SSUF. What’s made Baur’s company loved is how it’s systematic boot camp approach can put a startup in execution within just three months.