Mike Baur on Swiss Startup Factory
Mike Baur had put 20 years into a very successful Swiss financial career. Lately, however, he knew that something was missing. He no longer felt driven to make big deals work. Therefore, he stepped away from that career and started his own program, Swiss Startup Factory, to help people with product ideas bring them to fruition. If you are a startup wondering if you will ever get your product off the ground, then spending three months in Zurich with a partner may be exactly what you need.
Mike takes in classes of new startups twice a year at Swiss Startup Factory. Before a person can start, they must have a partner. The focus of startups that he helps is technology. Therefore, one person must have a technology background and the other team member must have a financial background. In rare instances, Swiss Startup Factory will put teams together. Mike believes, however, that the most successful startups already have a team in place because of the stress caused by getting a company off the starting blocks.
The team must then apply to be part of the program. All team applications are looked at very carefully by a group of industry professionals. Unfortunately, they cannot give feedback to people who are not chosen. The lucky ones are interviewed and brought to Zurich to begin the three month program.
The full-time intensive three-month program is based on the build, measure, learn model. Each startup meets almost daily with Mike or his partner. They develop three milestones that the team must meet. For example, at the end of the first month, the team’s company becomes a legal entity. If a team fails to meet a milestone, then they are usually out of the program. The pressure can be intense. In order to help people be successful, they are also surrounded by a team of professionals who have been down the road that the startup is now traveling.
The advantage of working with Swiss Startup Factory is not only the expertise, but also the money. Each team is given the opportunity to meet with investors and taught how to act in front of them. They are taught how to give an elevator speech. They are given some cash to start their company in exchange for 10 percent of their company.
Mike Baur’s Swiss Startup Factory is a relatively new concept for Switzerland. He graduated his first class in April 2016. He is extremely proud of three teams that managed to survive the rigorous process. If you think this is the program to take your project to the next level, then talk to them today.