Mike Baur grew up in Freiburg, Switzerland. Freiburg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district La Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/ La Sarine, on the Swiss Plateau and is an important economic, and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland, thus it is no surprise that Mike Bauer began his banking career as a commercial apprentice with Union Bank of Switzerland at the very young age of only 16. He received an MBA from University of Rochester New York and an Executive MBA from University of Bern.
After dedicating nearly 20 years to a career in Swiss private banking, in 2014 Bauer took a giant leap into his entrepreneurial future and, at the age of 39 he, along with co-founders Max Meister, Oliver Walzer and canine companion Mexx – their highly loyal and trustworthy chief of Security, founded Swiss Startup Factory, a company dedicated to assisting Swiss entrepreneurs with start-up tech companies by providing helpful mentoring and training services as well as funding and even rent free office space for a few months. The education the start-up techs receive is invaluable and help to teach them about securing investors, marketing and ultimately how to succeed going forward. Without Mike Bauer, most of these companies would have never gotten off the ground.
In addition, Baur invests a lot of time and private financing in Swiss youth entrepreneurship. He encourages qualifying start-ups to enter pitching contests such as START Summiteer which occurs at Swiss university. At START Summiteer, seasoned financial experts evaluate the startups, and rate several aspects of their plans and ultimately decide who wins. The winner usually receives substantial investments. Bauer serves as one of the judges at these competitions.
In addition to Swiss Startup Factory, Bauer also created and runs Think Reloaded, a company that provides more sophisticated financial advice for affluent clients, though he still works for Swiss Startup Factory where his primary concentration is on financing and fund raising.
In 2016 SSUF partnered with CTI Invest thus Mike Bauer is now CTI Invest’s managing director. Further, Bauer led SSUF through its media accelerator program and its partnership with Fintech Fusion.
With Mike Bauer paving the way for Switzerland’s tech startup companies, Zurich may become Europe’s Silicon Valley!