The Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) is a Switzerland-based venture capital firm, but it’s not quite your typical venture capital firm. This company has several facets to it from giving a platform to investors in the form of new companies, giving coaching and classroom time for entrepreneurs to build on ideas, and networking entrepreneurs with investors. Mike Baur helped found the SSUF and he brought a wide range of management ideas to the company that he had learned in banking. Baur’s chief mission at the SSUF is to bring startup companies online within a short time frame and help them become sustainable, and he explained how entrepreneurs could make that happen.
Mike Baur told Red Bull Media, a media conglomerate that supports the SSUF that good business ideas don’t have to be searched for. Entrepreneurs will have their “aha” moment that the idea will come, and it will usually grow from there. Instead of fearing that the idea will be stolen, entrepreneurs should never be afraid to share the idea because it can bring together the right business team for them. And nobody should be afraid of failure because those who fail the first time around will do better the next time around.
Mike Baur wanted to go into the venture capital field because he realized this field had much more variety in a typical day than the same old routine in banking. Baur had certainly done a good job in banking while he was at UBS Bank and later Clariden Leu, so much so that he was on the executive board by the time he got to Clariden Leu. Banking was one of Switzerland’s strongest institutions when Baur first began as an apprentice, but by the time he was an executive the post-recession regulations had kicked in and had made banking much more difficult. So in 2014 he decided to go his own way.
The reason Mike Baur decided to form his own private business accelerator was because he felt he could offer more help to business founders than grant programs that the government offered. He met up with former investment advisor Max Meister and with the backing of Helvetia, CTI Group, Goldback Group and Red Bull they were able to open their accelerator. The accelerator has been responsible for many disruptive financial tech businesses brought online, and part of the investment in those businesses has been channeled through Fintech Fusion. Baur also is the CEO of Think Reloaded.