After a brilliant career in the Swiss banking industry, Mike Baur decided to co-found the Swiss Startup Factory at age 39 with Max Meister and Oliver Walzer. Armed with an MBA from University of Rochester in New York and an Executive MBA from University of Berne, Baur started his career as an apprentice at UBS and ended up as a wealth manager Clariden Leu. Baur’s banking experience makes him the ideal person to be responsible for financing rounds at the Swiss Startup Factory.
Since 2014, the privately funded Swiss Start-Up Factory, with Baur as a managing partner, has provided opportunities for digital entrepreneurs in Switzerland. By running a three month-long program where startups work in the Swiss Start-Up Factory’s Zurich offices, the new companies can bring their ideas to market quickly.
A new partnership between the Swiss Startup Factory and the Geneva-based fintech accelerator Fusion will give entrepreneurs access to a wider range of mentors and services. According to Baur, “This is just the beginning of strengthening the Swiss Startup ecosystem by fostering collaboration between regional players.”
Baur works closely with the startups at the Swiss Start-Up Factory, mentoring new entrepreneurs on the business aspects of running a company. Startups have access to a wide range of services in addition to mentoring and coaching, including legal, marketing and accounting services.
Recently, the Swiss Startup Factory decided to sponsor the Swiss Edition of the StartupBus Europe. Budding tech entrepreneurs hop on the bus, which is traveling from Zürich to Cologne, Germany, and develop and launch a startup business in only 72 hours. Baur said “The synergies between the Startup Bus project and the values of Startup Factory are very strong and when Swiss Startup Factory saw the chance of pushing forward another young initiative for entrepreneurs in Switzerland, we immediately jumped on board.”
As a co-founder and director of the Swiss Startup Association, Baur works to enhance Switzerland’s startup ecosystem by seeking a friendlier tax environment and providing a voice for startups and their founders. The Swiss Startup Association’s deputy director is Max Meister, who co-founded the Swiss Startup Factory with Baur.