Mike Baur: from Swiss Banker to Start-up Mentor
Life takes unexpected twists and turns, as we can see from the life of Mike Baur, once a superstar in the Swiss banking industry, and now a mentor to young Swiss entrepreneurs and Executive Chairman of Swiss Start-up Factory.
At the age of 16, Mr Baur, who hails from Fribourg, started in the same place as many young Swiss who were interested in a banking career, as a commercial apprentice in large bank. He spent almost two decades in the industry, first at UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland) and later on at Clariden Lieu—two of the most prestigious financial institutions in the country. Along the way Mr Baur earned an MBA from the University of Rochester, as well as an executive MBA from the University of Berne.
At the height of his career, Mr Baur was a financial advisor to some of the wealthiest people on the planet, and sat on the board of several private banks in Switzerland. It seemed that he was certainly destined to have a prosperous and prestigious lifetime career in banking, following the trajectory of so many others who had gone before him.
However, the financial crash of 2008 sent shock waves all around the world, and this was particularly keenly felt in Switzerland, one of the financial centers of the world. And so, Mr Baur’s career took an unexpected turn. In 2014, at 39, he gave up the high salary and benefits of a career in banking to begin Swiss Startup Factory, along with Oliver Walzer and Max Meister, his partners. Mr. Baur has also devoted much time and effort in mentoring young Swiss entrepreneurs.
Indeed, Swiss Startup Factory has become an unqualified success, having become one of the best and largest early stage start up accelerators in the whole country. And at Swiss Startup Factory, Mr Baur plays a very important role indeed—he is in charge of financing rounds and fundraising.
As further proof of Swiss Startup Factory’s Success, in 2016 the company entered a partnership with CTI Invest, whereupon Mr. Baur was named Deputy Managing Director of CTI. It was around the same time that the company became partners with Fintech Fusion, and started an accelerator program with the Goldback Group. Mr Baur’s successful career path has been so notable that he was profiled in the Wall Street Journal in December 2016.