Mike Baur is doing his part to help Switzerland’s economy change its workforce and turn new ideas into thriving companies. He is a former bank advisor who now works with a variety of entrepreneurial-minded people at his business accelerator, the Swiss Startup Factory. Switzerland’s President Johann Schneider-Ammann had even said that the nation needed more people who would take the risks and both invest in or start new ventures, and Baur is looking to connect business founders with investors and give them access to resources that can help their new companies soar in just a matter of months. But why did Baur go into this and leave banking?
Mike Baur was certainly a great student growing up and learned on the fly quite well. When he was only 16 years old and a new apprentice at UBS Bank, one of his superiors told him that if he followed a certain path outlined on a piece of paper that he would rise to prominence in the bank and retire happy at a certain age. Baur certainly was committed to this and for the first 18 years of his banking career achieved a lot of success. Some of Switzerland’s wealthiest investors even had Baur manage their funds. But in 2008, the financial crisis hit banks all across the world, and even Swiss banks which have long been known for being among the world’s top banks were now starting to close. UBS was now shuttering its doors though Baur had found another promotion at Clariden Leu just prior to this. But he started seeing that government regulations increased and people just were not getting the same privileges that they had had before.
Mike Baur decided to quit banking once and for all in 2014 and then teamed up with investors like Max Meister to join the new movement of entrepreneurs that they believed could change Switzerland’s job landscape for the better. After also joining the Goldback Group, CTI and later Fintech Fusion, Baur and Meister were able to launch the Swiss Startup Factory later that year and also began recruiting at colleges such as the University of St. Gallen, and he even inspires young people by hosting events like pitch contests to get them ready to present business plans to investors. Mike Baur knows there’s a lot of risk involved with investing in new startups, but the rewards make it worth it to him.