Mike Baur Talks About Growing A Startup To A Big Business
Mike Baur is a former bank manager from Switzerland who is now an independent investor and Chairman of the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF). The SSUF is not only a venture capital firm but is also an institute that shows beginning entrepreneurs how to build a startup company into a big business and make a pitch to investors along the way. Baur believes there are three principles to being successful with startups and he shared them once in an interview.
Mike Baur says first that business leaders have to make things happen because circumstances don’t just fall into your lap. You need to create and follow through on a realistic plan to build your business into something big. Second, Baur says that you need to be adaptable because at some point, things are going to change in your industry whether from outside regulations and new laws, or from new technology developments and a changing in the public’s thinking. And third, you will not become successful unless you take risks with your business. These are things he learned prior to going into investing as a bank employee.
Mike Baur was actually only 16 when he started in banking. He began as an intern who assisted his superiors in daily banking tasks, and while he was still beginning this career an older HR manager told him that he just needed to follow a path charted before him and he would get promoted at each step and eventually retire. It certainly appealed to Baur at the time and he was very good at learning banking, so much so that he was already in portfolio management by the time he finished his bachelor’s degree in his early 20s. Even though he kept reaching higher up in his banking career eventually landing a commercial bank management position at Clariden Leu, Baur started having other thoughts about banking. By 2014, he decided it was no longer for him and left it altogether.
Mike Baur had started seeing other opportunities with the emergence of new app development companies and a new generation of entrepreneurs ready to showcase their talents to the world. Baur brought his idea for the SSUF to other investors such as the CEO of the Goldback Group and the board at CTI. He also made connections with the University of Zurich, and soon the SSUF became reality. Investors have been amazed that startups can be launched in as short a time as three months at the SSUF.