Switzerland is starting to become a new hub for business startup activity thanks to people like Mike Baur who are giving young entrepreneurs a chance to build businesses. Baur specifically helps launch businesses through a program he runs at his company, the Swiss Startup Factory. The program involves mentoring sessions where experts analyze ideas, pitching opportunities where the entrepreneurs get to show investors where they plan to take their company and market research into what they can expect with product demand. Baur says that the due diligence needed for startups is only part of the battle, and that entrepreneurs should follow three additional tips while starting a business.
Mike Baur says you should be prepared to do most of the preparation and organizing for your business yourself. Opportunities to start a company are never just random chances; they rely completely on the entrepreneur making them happen. Second, Baur says change is always going to come whether you like it or not, so make sure your business is always able to adapt to it. And thirdly, you need to understand which risks you’ll need to take and be willing to take them. The risk taking isn’t as much what you do to start your company, but what will happen after the execution phase and the decisions that go into your growth strategy.
Before Mike Baur got into the startup acceleration business, he was managing investments at UBS Bank and Clariden Leu. This was originally supposed to be the job Baur would have all the way until he retired, or so he was told when he entered the UBS Bank apprenticeship program back when he was only 16 years old. But even though Baur had a great financial acumen and was respected by his peers and even his superiors, he decided to leave banking in 2014. Part of this was due to the increased regulations that the 2008 recession brought with it, and other reasons were that he felt he could no longer help regular people as much as he used to.
Mike Baur wanted Switzerland’s economy to start going with the tech waves that were happening in nations like China and Japan, and taking part in the disrupter niche where companies like Uber were now taking root. The SSUF has put a lot of emphasis on disruptive technology and Internet of Things developments like artificial intelligence. The companies given funding in the SSUF portfolio have been tested through rigorous sessions in a three-month batch program there. The SSUF also is a partner of the Goldback Group and Red Bull Media.