Mike Baur is the co-founder and executive chairman of The Swiss Startup Factory, or SSUF, a company designed to build unique startups from the ground up. Prior to founding Swiss Startup, Baur earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, NY and an executive MBA from the University of Berne, Switzerland. Then, he went on to work in the Swiss banking industry for over 20 years. He accelerated quickly in the finance world, even making his way onto the executive board of a Swiss bank. However, in 2014, he made the decision to join a group of professionals in co-founding the Swiss startup. At the Startup Factory, Baur is responsible for financing and fundraising.
The Swiss Startup assists clients with unique business models or products by offering them a three-month integrative program that offers ” financing, services, coaching, mentoring, office space, and access to a large entrepreneurial and investor network,” according to the Swiss Startup website. After only two years of service, the team at the Startup Factory has already graduated several successful alumni from its brief but productive program. Clients such as Beaconsmind and Velohub, for example, have gone on to lead successful kickstart campaigns within months of finishing SSUF’s course.
The SSUF has also seen its share of personal growth. Early in 2016, they partnered with CTI invest, an online news source and communication board for Swiss innovators and startups. Not long after, the SSUF participated in yet another exciting partnership, this time with the Goldbach Group, a electronics and media business. SSUF graduates were able to pitch their ideas to Goldbach executives, and some saw great reception. For SSUF, the recognition was equally important.
The Swiss Startup is empowering innovators who might not otherwise have the means to grow their business ideas. Bauer and his fellow SSUF peers have established an all-encompassing program that teaches businesses the essentials needed to grow. Baur heads finance, which is arguably the most important and difficult task of small business acceleration. Merely a startup themselves, SSUF is already achieving success by teaching others to help themselves. As Goldbach has shown, SSUF is a valuable resource for industries that depend on the newest and most exciting innovations. While big businesses can generate ideas, they are not always strong enough. By creating a pipeline that essentially prepares and grooms innovators for business success, they are also encouraging healthy new partnerships, collaborations, and funding opportunities.