A couple years ago, Switzerland’s President Johann Schneider-Ammann said at a public event that Switzerland has been “risk averse” and that the time had come to nourish a more entrepreneurial approach in society. Some are taking up that call to action including former banking advisor Mike Baur who is now guiding startups to success at the Swiss Startup Factory and he and Max Meister cofounded. Baur has said he’s very optimistic about where the attitude is right now towards bringing new ideas and brands to life, and he’s much happier being in an environment where he can coach entrepreneurs on forming the structure of their businesses.
Baur has mentioned that the competition is stiff in various industries, and entrepreneurs have to work very hard to get the support they need for their business. So Baur says that they first need to know how to network and make all the pitches themselves because starting a business will never have any situation where things just fall into place. Baur also believes that your business must adapt as times change, and that also means that you need to be willing to change not necessarily your business values, but the way that you do business. And then all business owners have to be willing to make risks and not be afraid of failing. Baur believes knowing the kind of risks you can take and being willing to go through with them is important for sustaining growth.
Mike Baur followed his business startup dreams after deciding he wanted more than what his life in banking offered. He was only 16 when he decide to become a banking professional, and his friends and family had high hopes for him in this career. After spending the first several years as an apprentice and then achieving his bachelor’s degree, Baur started taking on more advisory and management roles at UBS Bank. In 2008 he started taking on even more affluent clients and held a position on the Board of Directors at Clariden Leu, but things changed dramatically in the next several years from the way they were when he first started, and in 2014 he quit banking never to return.
The SSUF was downplayed by several critics as an idea that wasn’t necessary because public programs already existed to fund business startups. But Mike Baur knew that he could do more than just give business startups funding; with his help and the partnership of companies like BV4 and Westhive, they could also be given the knowledge and infrastructure base to become fully operable and give investors returns much quicker. Startups that are currently in the SSUF portfolio are My Base Camp, Evolute, IDUN Healthtech and SnowCookie.