Mike Baur has been doing some tremendous work at the Swiss Startup Factory, a name the company was given because it’s been producing some of Switzerland’s biggest new tech and financial companies. It’s known as an accelerator because it takes business ideas and brings them into execution phase within a short amount of time, and the incubator company has done well thanks to the support and partnerships that Baur has been able to bring to it. He and CEO Max Meister were pleased to welcome Antonio Gasser to the team just a few weeks ago. Gasser is now the Chief Marketing Officer at SSUF and is responsible for the incubator’s branding and marketing strategies, and will be helping to reach out to more partnering companies. Gasser’s experience has included leading Red Bull Media and was also in customer relations at Swatch.
Mike Baur got the idea for the SSUF a few years ago when he realized he needed a change from banking. He had been in banking since 1991 when he became an intern at UBS Bank. Baur had been told at the time that if he followed a plan and earned promotions at each stage of his career that he could expect to make a lot of money and have his retirement all planned out. He accomplished a lot in his 20 years of banking, but things happened that changed his plans to stay in banking forever. The main development was the change that the recession of 2008 brought to banking, and in the years following that Baur found that he no longer felt the way about his job that he had before. So in 2014 after realizing he could do more than just crunch numbers, Baur retired from banking.
The motivating factor that Mike Baur had for starting the SSUF was seeing what was happening at universities around Switzerland with many graduates looking to create new businesses that were different than traditional brick and mortar corporations. He believed a lot of great returns were to be found in these businesses for investors, so he created a network at the SSUF that gave access to capital for entrepreneurs, and a chance for investors to earn money when the businesses succeeded. The SSUF uses a training and mentoring program that lasts three months, and startups that last through that program can then gain access to funds and even have office space leased out for them to work out of.