Mike Baur is a co-founder and the executive chairman of Swiss Startup Group, the parent company of Swiss Startup Factory among other organizations dedicated to the acceleration of startups in Switzerland. He believes that now is the time for digital transformation and for new, creative startups to emerge and help residents of Switzerland, as well as the world. Baur appreciates the economic safety net given to Swiss citizens, noting that Switzerland’s economic structure is an important cause of entrepreneurs taking risky chances with great payoffs.
Baur began his education at the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, earning a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Banking and Finance. From there, he started working with USB Wealth Management and eventually worked his way up to a top management position at one of the largest private banks in Switzerland – Sallfort Privatbank AG. Baur is dedicated to helping people succeed financially, and he currently applies the knowledge he gained from his 20 years of experience in Swiss banking to his startup group. He also attended the University of Rochester, earning a Master of Business Administration, and the Universitat Bern, earning an Executive Master of Business Administration and graduating in 2008.
Baur spreads his knowledge regarding startups and business at many universities, corporations and startup events. He considers it his mission to give back to companies in Switzerland and wants to help Swiss companies with the challenges of digital transformation. He does not want businesspeople to be scared of disruptive technology, citing how massively successful Netflix and Amazon have been. In fact, the Swiss Startup Factory is designed to promote creative and disruptive startups in particular. The program that they offer to new startups gives these businesses access to all the tools they need to develop as a successful business, such as financing, coaching, office space and access to a network of professionals who can help them develop. The Swiss Startup Factory is the biggest privately financed, independent program in Switzerland dedicated to the acceleration of startups, and has around 2,000 applications per year. The best one percent of these programs are selected for acceleration.
In addition to helping finance startups, Mike Baur is an active board member of several Swiss companies and is the vice president of Innovation Lab Fribourg. Baur has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, highlighting his passion and skill for entrepreneurship. He has also been named as one of Switzerland’s top ten digital startup enablers.