Every entrepreneur should know to follow their own path. It’s the most important lesson they can learn; even before learning how to run a business. A lot of people give up on their dreams and just learn to live with the life they’ve been given, but entrepreneurs can’t do that.
Mike Baur had a brilliant career handed to him on a silver platter, but he wasn’t meant to be a banker his entire life. Granted, he loved banking when he first started in 1991. He got a job at a Union Bank of Switzerland and worked there for over a decade.
Despite years of success and numerous promotions, he began feeling different about banking. In 2008, he left UBS and joined another bank; Clariden Leu. He worked in their Zurich office, serving in a high-ranking position. But even at Clariden Leu, he still didn’t feel as happy as he once was.
The problem wasn’t banking or finance. He just wanted to explore a different path: entrepreneurship. In 2014, after leaving Clariden Leu, he co-founded Swiss Startup Factory. SSUF is Zurich first independent incubator program that helps young tech entrepreneurs get their enterprises up and running.
Not all startups get financial funding from SSUF, but those that do are encouraged to compete in pitching contest for additional funding. Pitching contests are great ways of getting a company’s name into whatever industry they want to join. Their business plans get reviewed by top financial experts and promising companies land substantial investments.
Through the years, SSUF formed many partnerships. In 2016, SSUF partnered with BV4, a firm that estimates the potential of ideas and inventions. SSUF startups use BV4’s estimations to gain additional financing. As the companies continue to collaborate, Baur’s become significantly involved in directing BV4.
Baur worked in banking for 20 years and never found the same happiness there that he’s found with SSUF. But, thanks to his banking skills, SSUF is the only independent incubator that can stand on its own. This allows the company to adapt and pursue whatever opportunity the co-founders wish.
That free-spirited mentality speaks more to Mike Baur’s own path. He turned down a career filled with glory and wealth to work with aspiring entrepreneurs. He chased his dream rather than choose the path that too many others chose.