Mike Baur is one of the co-founders of Swiss Startup Factory, a business that helps startups get through their critical first three months. After establishing the company and guiding it through its early days he is now one of the board members of this company. Previously he had been in the Swiss banking industry for two decades.
When it comes to thinking up a brilliant idea upon which to base a new company, Mike Baur says that you can’t really sit down and come up with one. Rather they will occur to you spontaneously. He says that they usually come to him when he is searching for a product only to come up with empty handed. He then asks why the product doesn’t exist which results in a new business idea.
People that have great ideas for a new product tend not to act on them, primarily because they don’t realize how easy it is to reach a vast number of people nowadays. A website can be set up in little time, even for somebody new to that. There are mobile apps, such as WhatsApp, that can be used to quickly put together a test group to try your new idea out on. Mike Baur says that all of this is free or can be had at very little expense. It was much harder to test out a business idea or launch a product 20 years ago than it is today.
Over the course of his career in the banking industry Mike Baur went from an entry-level position to being on the board of some of the biggest banks in Switzerland. It was in 2014, when he was 39 years old, that he decided to exit that industry and instead become an entrepreneur. He has helped many new businesses launch since that time. He has also helped startups by investing his money in them and serving on their boards.
Mike Baur says that helping startups get their feet under them is very demanding on his time. He gets up early so that he can get through all of his emails before he really starts his day. He says he likes to get emails out of the way for the day from the get-go because it allows him to focus on people for the rest of the day rather than looking at screens. At the end of the day, businesses are about people which is why they are his main focus.