Mike Baur: The Power of Choice

There are a lot of situations where people feel like they don’t have a choice. Sadly, in the business world, people feel like this all too often. Fortunately, the world has countless entrepreneurs with stories that inspire people to doubt those feeling. Mike Baur is one such entrepreneur.

Admittedly, Baur never felt like he didn’t have a choice. He was one of those lucky few who found passion in his work the first time around. His job at a Union Bank of Switzerland was all that he hoped for; even though it involved long hours and meticulous expertise.

Banking was Baur’s first love, but it didn’t last. He worked for UBS for over 15 years, earning numerous promotions. In 2008, he joined Clariden Leu in an attempt to revitalize his passion for finance. Sadly, the things that once excited him about banking now tired him out.

In 2014, he left Clariden to pursue a new interest: entrepreneurship. He’d always wanted to be his own boss, but he felt like that was just a dream. With no passion for banking, he joined Max Meister and co-founded Swiss Startup Factory. SSUF is now his pride and joy.

Much of his time is spent working with the young entrepreneurs being trained at SSUF. SSUF offers more than training. They also offer mentoring and many of the young entrepreneurs get to interact with Baur and Meister, learning directly from the founders. Obviously, more promising enterprises get additional support from the company and its founders.

Both founders work closely with promising startups. SSUF also offers them rent-free offices in Zurich and, if necessary, financial support. But it’s also important to Baur to teach these enterprises how to network on their own. That’s why he encourages them to compete in pitching contests.

Sometimes, things don’t seem like a choice; they seem like common sense. When Baur and Meister started SSUF, it only made sense that their company is independent of other companies and political groups. These turned out to be one of the greatest choices they made. Because their company’s independent, they can pursue any opportunity freely.

Choices defined who Mike Baur is. Whenever Baur felt that life wasn’t satisfying, he made the choice to pursue other options. That’s an important lesson that everyone needs to learn: follow their dreams.