Mike Baur has more than 20 years of experience in private banking, and has turned his attention to business acceleration. He is a founding partner of the Swiss Start-Up Factory, which runs a three month long accelerator program. This program tries to teach new digital entrepreneurs the entrepreneurship mentality that is necessary for success through a system of mentoring/coaching, office space in Zurich, and an entrepreneurial network. The Swiss Start-Up Factory also offers fundraising and financing rounds.
The Swiss Start-Up Factory has announced partnerships with CTI Invest, a financial platform for Swiss start-ups, and Fintech Accelerator Fusion, a Geneva based accelerator company. Mike Baur of The Swiss Start-Up Factory has been appointed Deputy Managing Director of CTI Invest, and Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier has been appointed Managing Partner of the Swiss Start-Up Factory, as of 1/1/2016. Co-organized events will include Swiss Startup Day and Swiss Startup Training, to begin in the spring of 2016. Swiss Venture Day will be continued, with simultaneous tracks for IT and Life Sciences in Zurich and Lausanne. A Life Sciences Day will possibly be added in Basel, and additional Swiss Venture Days in St. Gallen and Ticino. Best practices workshops, pitching battle, panels, keynotes, investors, supporters, and elevator pitches are all planned events.
The two accelerator companies will collaborate on pre-selection process, acceleration, cooperation with universities, mentor networking, joint events, and shared office space. This cooperation will allow a bridge between the French and Swiss German parts of Switzerland. The Swiss Start-Up Factory was founded in 2014 and Fintech Fusion in 2015, while CTI Invest has been in business for ten years.
On Mindcast, a podcast for Swiss start-ups, Mike Baur announced his “ten ultimate tips for startups” in the Swiss business system. The start-up team is the most important step; he says you need a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds on your team. His second tip is about “running the extra mile,” which means you have to be totally committed to your idea and ready for all circumstances which may arise, not only for the founders, but also for the founders’ families. He says founders of businesses must learn to deal with investors, who can sometimes be very slippery. Tip number six is that contracts must be written by professionals.