Mike Baur is one of the most inspirational entrepreneurs and businessmen in the world. He comes from a humble background, raised in Freiburg, Switzerland. Knowing his destiny, he attended Bern University and the University of Rochester. Some sources say that he began his first banking job at age 16.
Whatever the case, it’s a fact that his career officially began in 1991. That’s when he got a job at a Union Bank of Switzerland. Immediately, he experienced something that most people don’t. He was told by a hiring manager every promotion he could earn if he stayed with UBS until he retired.
Throughout the 90s, Baur proceeded just as the hiring manager predicted. Before he turned 30, he was given a top advisory position. From there, he advised some of Switzerland’s wealthiest people, including investors. Despite all of his success, he felt as though something was missing from his life.
In 2008, he left the Union Bank of Switzerland and took a job at Clariden Leu. He continued to hold high-ranking positions for the next six years. By the end of his banking career, he’d accumulated over 20 years of experience. It was hard for him to leave the banking industry, but he wanted to do something else with his life.
The next chapter in his life involved entrepreneurship. As time went on, he wanted to work with technology startups. After meeting with some potential partners, he settled on partnering with Max Meister. Together, they co-created Swiss Startup Factory.
Swiss Startup Factory quickly became one of the top incubator programs in the country. SSUF aids young entrepreneurs get their enterprises off the ground by offering mentoring and training. Some of the startups even get financial support and personal assistance creating business plans and building networks. According to some sources, promising startups also get free office space.
After starting SSUF, Mike Baur became a different person. He’s always out meeting new people and trying to build SSUF into a bigger company. As SSUF grows, so do the startups they manage. One extremely useful tool that they encourage startups to use is pitching contests.
When SSUF first started, Baur attended the START Summiteer contest, to get his company’s name out there. Now, he knows how beneficial pitching contests are to enterprises. Mainly, these contests are a great way to obtain funding.