Mike Baur: Life Without Banking

It’s hard for a lot of people to give up what they’ve done for decades. Even if it’s a job that they hate, once they’ve done long enough, it becomes a part of them. Mike Baur, a renowned entrepreneur, worked in banking for 20 years. Though his career inevitably changed course, banking is a part of his life.

He got his start as an apprentice at a Union Bank of Switzerland. At first, he loved banking. He was sure that banking would be his lifelong career. Everyone expected him to achieve great success at UBS; and for a while, he did.

Until 2008, Baur worked at UBS. He achieved all the great things people predicted he would. Despite his success, he didn’t feel happy at UBS. In 2008, he joined Clariden Leu and worked in their Zurich office. He tried to stay positive about banking, but the post-recession banking environment became more about red tape than achieving greatness.

After six years, he left the world of banking entirely. He joined with Max Meister in a venture called Swiss Startup Factory. Baur found his new passion: helping young tech entrepreneurs get their ideas off of the ground. He began working closely with every promising startup.

The most important aspect of building an enterprise that SSUF teaching is networking. Young entrepreneurs should take every opportunity to build with one another. That’s why SSUF encourages its most promising startups to compete in pitching contests. It’s the easiest way to get their names out there and start building professional relationships.

Though he’s much happier now, Baur couldn’t just let go of his talents as a banker. Much of his contributions to SSUF’s startups are on a financial level. He also works with other companies, even founding his own financial advisory firm, Think Reloaded.

Since leaving banking, Mike Baur’s been a lot happier. Though he does still work with finances, it’s not the day-in-day-out grind that he hates. SSUF allows him to use his financial skills to help people build things that will benefit everyone in the long run. Thanks to Meister and Baur, SSUF is independent.

As he learns his place at the company, he gets more comfortable with responsibility. Mostly, he works on financing and fundraising, but he’s got more to teach than just numbers.