Mike Baur: Diversification

Mike Baur is one of Switzerland’s most successful entrepreneurs. His story is used by many aspiring entrepreneurs as a roadmap to success. In general, his life’s been amazing. He earned a degree from Bern University and another from the University of Rochester. In 1991, he began his career as a banker.

When most get a new job, someone explains to them what they can expect working at that company. When Baur got his job at a Union Bank of Switzerland, the hiring manager predicted that Baur would do well at UBS. He even listed every promotion he thought Baur would earn before retirement age.

Baur’s career excelled exactly how the hiring manager predicted. Before he turned 30, Baur was promoted to a high-ranking advisory position. What wasn’t predicted was Baur’s interest in other things. In 2008, he left UBS and joined Clariden Leu in an effort to rekindle his passion for banking.

He continued working Clariden until 2014 when he decided he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He partnered with a fellow Bern University graduate, Max Meister, and co-founded Swiss Startup Factory, an incubator program firm. SSUF targets young tech entrepreneurs and helps them get their business operational.

Sometimes, it’s hard for new startups to make a name for themselves. That’s where pitching contests come in handy. SSUF encourages many of the startups they’re helping to compete in these contests. The winners always get substantial investments from the crowd. They’re also great places to network and find promising partnerships.

After working with SSUF, Baur also took a job as CTI Invest’s new deputy managing director. It wasn’t long after he joined CTI that the two companies began collaborating. They teamed up and created Swiss Startup Day. Their partnership eventually attracted BV4, which is now a partner of SSUF and CTI.

In an interview, Baur talked about why he called the company a “factory”. The word factory brings to mind an efficient way of producing a multitude of products. Factories work from sun up to sun down, effortlessly mass producing works of art. That’s the work ethic that SSUF teaches startups to embrace.

Baur is the perfect man to give advice to any aspiring entrepreneur. So far, his lessons helped many startups redefine and implement pioneering ideas. Companies like SSUF also provide economic growth and stimulus.