Most agree that great mentors teach from experience. When it comes to entrepreneurial finance, there’s no better expert than Mike Baur. Baur holds two business degrees from different universities, and he worked in the banking industry for over 20 years. Even in the early days of his career, many predicted his great success.
The first job Baur got in banking was as a finance expert’s apprentice at Union Bank of Switzerland. It was an unusual job considering his first day. Unlike everyone else, Baur attracted the hiring manager’s attention. He predicted that Baur would do great things for the company, but that was not Baur’s dream.
Baur continued working for UBS until 2008. Though he’d earned many promotions at UBS, he wanted a change of scenery. Taking a job with Clariden Leu at their Zurich office was just what he needed. Within six years at Clariden, all the red tape wore him down.
In 2014, he lost his passion for banking. He’d become obsessed with chasing his entrepreneurial dreams. His first act was teaming up with Max Meister to launch Swiss Startup Factory, an incubator program. SSUF is the first independently finance incubator in Zurich. They’ve also achieved global recognition for some of their services.
When the company first started, Baur participated in a pitch contest for new enterprises. He served as a juror to decide who had the best pitch. The competition, known as START Summiteer, only allows small startups with less than one million dollars in funding to compete.
That same year, Baur wanted to start another company. As a way of combining his two passions, he founded a sophisticated financial advice firm called Think Reloaded. That led to him becoming CTI Invest’s Deputy Managing Director. Eventually, SSUF and CTI began collaborating, leading to another partnership with BV4.
Baur’s favorite part of every day is working with new entrepreneurs. Hearing the excitement in their voices makes him excited. His company, being an independent incubator, gets to act quickly whenever opportunities arise. This allows him to jump from one project to the next while continuing to run an important business.
Mike Baur makes a great mentor because of his love for entrepreneurship. Though he started out with a successful corporate career, he left it behind to work with the next generation of business leaders.