Most young men in their early teens are interested in video games, rocks stars and sports, but when Mike Baur was growing up in Switzerland, his passion was for banking and finance. He just found the ebbs and flows of money in the business world fascinating.
Not surprisingly, when Baur entered college he threw himself into his studies of banking systems, economics and the art of using money to make investments in innovative, high tech venture concepts. He earned an MBA from the University of Rochester and an Executive MBA from the University of Bern.
By 2008, Baur achieved a rare feat in Swiss banking – he landed a prominent position at Clariden Leu, a private bank founded in 2007 by Clariden president Alex Hoffmann and Credit Suisse Group. There Baur settled into a posh office on Zurich’s rarified and exclusive Bahnhofstrasse.
At age 39, after 20 years of spectacular success in the competitive world of Swiss Banking, Baur launched a new entrepreneurial journey in 2014.
Along with two partners, Max Meister and Oliver Walzer, Baur established the Swiss Startup Factory, an agency designed foster young digital innovators. Financed independently, the new company would be privately owned and be the first of its kind in Switzerland to create three-month accelerator programs for technical savvy entrepreneurs.
Swiss Startup Factor is focused on “fintech” — a technology which describes a new kind of financial services sector tailor made for the 21st century. Fintech involves technological innovations within the financial sector which tend to support developments in financial literacy and education, retail banking and investment — but also other areas as well. For example, the creation of the now famous Bitcoin can be considered a fintech innovation.
In January 2016, Baur became deputy managing director of CTI Invest after his company chose to partner with CTI. Also in 2016, Baur led Swiss Startup Factory through its accelerator program with Goldback Group. He then engineered a partnership with Fintech Fusion in February of 2016.
The partnership between Fusion and Swiss Startup is especially significant because it is the first of its kind to successfully transcend barriers created by Swiss linguistic differences (between Swiss German and French), and also cantonal and regional separations.
It’s all in a day’s work for Mike Baur — a man who has the world of high tech investing wondering and watching what he’ll do next.