A native of the Freiburg region of Switzerland, Mike Baur has built an impressive resume of business experience. After receiving a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester, New York, and an Executive MBA from the University of Bern, he started as an apprentice at the Union Bank of Switzerland. Over the next 20 years he would become one of the top investment experts in the banking industry. He left UBS in 2008 to work for Clariden Leu Bank in the city of Zurich, eventually becoming an executive board member. A desire to help young tech entrepreneurs led him to leaving banking in 2014. Along with his partners Max Meister and Oliver Walzer, he co-founded the Swiss Startup Factory, a company that provides funding, training, and mentoring to new startups. The SSUF has become Switzerland’s top startup accelerator, giving entrepreneurs information on product marketing and working with investors.
In 2014, an event was held at the University of St. Gallen that became known as the START Summiteer. This was a pitching contest that enabled the founders of new companies to talk to the public and about their products and services. Mr. Baur was a jury member for this competition and helped to evaluate startups on their plans and business models.
Also in 2014, Mr. Baur would organize THINK RELOADED, a company that would provide wealthy clients with advanced financial expertise. In 2016 Swiss Startup Factory joined with CTI Invest, with Baur becoming the deputy managing director of CTI. That same year both companies would sponsor Swiss Startup Day. As an independent company, the Swiss Startup Factory can make decisions without the interference of outside sources.
Mr. Baur is still active in THINK RELOADED and SSUF. He is also a board member for BV4, and along with Max Meister, the company helps startups in determining the value of ideas and inventions. Baur incorporated the term “factory” in SSUF’s name to express the hard work and committment that new businesses must have, much like what laborers must produce when working in a factory. Last December, the Wall Street Journal did an article on Mike Baur, highlighting his career, from his days in the Swiss Banking Industry to his current involvement with the Swiss Startup Association.