Mike Baur: Meeting Innovation with Execution in the Swiss Startups Sector

After spending close to two decades in working for some of the largest banks in the Swiss banking industry, Mike Baur embarked on entrepreneurship. However, his passion for entrepreneurship had a different and unconventional approach: creating the next generation of Swiss business moguls and innovators. Drawing from his long experience as a banker, he came together with two other like-minded individuals to found Swiss Startup Factory in 2015. He currently serves as the executive chairman of the company and is particularly involved in the company’s innovative three-month accelerator program where he helps with the identification of aspiring entrepreneurs and their startups to absorb into their program.


Swiss Startup Factory’s three month-long accelerator program has revolutionized and remodeled the concept of startups development and fostering. From day one, the startups that join their program are offered fundamental services aimed at helping them gain a foothold in the highly competitive environment. For three months, they enjoy free office space located in Zurich from where they can operate as they seek to develop their ideas into a profitable business venture. They also enjoy financial support during the same period. The startups are also given contacts in various industries to create their own entrepreneurial network, which can be critical in their future success as businesses. The aspiring entrepreneurs are also mentored and coached on how to grow their idea and ambitious goals into profitable ventures. Under the leadership of Mike Baur, Swiss Startup Factory has expanded its catchment area beyond Switzerland. Specializing in digital entrepreneurs, the company has partnered with global entities to draw in startups from around the world.


Education and Career Background


Mike Baur graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in 2000 from the University of Applied Sciences Bern where he specialized in Banking and Finance. Between 2007 and 2008, he studied for Master of Business Administration and Executive Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Rochester and University of Bern, respectively. He joined UBS in 1991 where he specialized in wealth management for 17 years before leaving in 2008. He served as the head of private banking in Switzerland for over three years up to 2012 at Clariden Leu. In 2012, he joined Sallfort Privatbank AG as the head of private banking for over a year before becoming an entrepreneur. He founded Think Reloaded AG in 2014. He currently serves as the vice president of Innovation Lab Fribourg in addition to his duties at Swiss Startup Association, which he co-founded.