As a young man in Switzerland, Mike Baur followed his interests into the financial and banking sector, where he established a successful career that lasted for more than 20 years. He earned one MBA from the University of Rochester in New York and another from the University of Bern.
In 2014, he sensed a growing demand for “fintech” — financial technology. To that end, he left the financial sector and started investing in various startups. This lead him to a new venture — he and his two partners launched the Swiss Startup Factory, or SSUF. This company, which is based in Zurich, searches for and supports digital technology entrepreneurs, with a special interest in fintech startups.
SSUF offers a wide range of services and programs for the digital entrepreneur. Along with co-working spaces that encourage cooperation and collaboration, it provides bookkeeping, payroll, financing and more.
The company also runs a special accelerator program. This program takes place over three months in Zurich. Chosen entrepreneurs receive mentoring, coaching and access to the Swiss Startup Factory’s vast network of business and financial contacts. As an accelerator, it’s designed as a way for entrepreneurs to quickly develop and grow their startups.
Starting the Swiss Startup Factor has proven to be a smart move for Baur, as SSUF has been a success. The company has expanded with new partnerships. It joined forces with CTI Invest — one of Europe’s leading platforms for startup companies — in 2015 and named Baur the deputy managing director.
SSUF has also partnered with Fintech Fusion, an accelerator that specializes in financial technology. Located in Geneva, Fusion offers a partnership that expands SSUF’s language reach, making it possible to help both French-speaking and Swiss German-speaking entrepreneurs.
In addition, SSUF and BV4 are now working together, with BV4 bolstering SSUF’s brand valuation and intellectual property offerings. These are just a few groups on SSUF’s growing list of partners.
So far, Mike Baur‘s brainchild has helped to launch a number of startups, including Blinkers, Carhelpers, Beaconsmind and Struckd. He continues to work for the company, managing their fundraising efforts. He’s also in charge of their fundraising rounds.