An entrepreneur and businessman, Mike Baur is the managing partner co-founder and of the Swiss startup factory. For over twenty years, he worked in the banking industry after which he quit to invest in startup companies. This was before together with Oliver Walzer in 2014, cofounding Swiss startup factory.
When Swiss startup factory partnered with CTI in January 2016, Baur was named the managing director’s deputy of CTI invest. The Swiss startup factory, under Baur’s leadership, went through its accelerator program with Goldback group as well as its Fintech Fusion partnership in early 2016. Baur’s early career was profiled by the Wall Street Journal to entrepreneurship and startup investments from Swiss banking in December 2016.
Baur admits his love for working in the banking industry and sites his desires to satisfy his entrepreneurial dreams as the key reason as to why he had to leave the banking industry. According to Baur, most advisors and managers in the Swiss banking industry reluctantly adapt to changes in the economy. This makes them powerless in case of any crisis related to finances. As an example, Baur sites the resistance of banks towards digitalization of operations.
Baur made the difficult choice to become an entrepreneur despite the massive success in the banking industry. He decided to start the Swiss startup company despite the technology industry facing significant challenges. Having worked in the banking industry, Baur was conversant with the challenges entrepreneurs faced. Baur’s Swiss startup Factory helps entrepreneurs in strategic decision making as well as financial planning. It also offers mentorship programs and coaching to both aspiring and growing entrepreneurs.
The twenty years in the banking industry equipped Baur with adequate knowledge and skills to understand and navigate his current industry. He feels at home running a company that provides entrepreneurs with dispensable financial skills. When he worked in the banks, the main business was collaborating with business gurus and giving financial advice. The contribution to success and expansion of businesses has made the Swiss Startup Factory a crucial figure. In Switzerland, it is the best privately financed early stage Startup Company.
Mike Baur attained his MBA from the University of Rochester, New York, and his EMBA at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Mike Baur is a businessman and entrepreneur who believes thoroughly that businesses and aspiring business owners require precise execution and determination to thrive. He initially began his career as a commercial apprentice at UBS, one of the top Swiss Private Banks where he managed work his way up to one of the top management positions. Through his journey with UBS, he gained both experience and understanding of; private banking, financial advising, and investing. In 2014, Mike Baur has chosen to veer his path in a new direction and is currently a Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Swiss Startup Factory, sitting alongside him are Max Meister and Oliver Walzer. Swiss Startup Factory aims to detour from traditional private banking to provide inspired entrepreneurs and young companies the opportunity to flourish by providing the service of coaching, mentoring, entrepreneurial and investor networking, and even office space. In 2016 Baur became the deputy managing director of CTI through the Swiss Startup Factory, CTI merger. Later that year, Mike Baur went on to lead the Swiss Startup Factory through its partnership with the Geneva based Fintech Accelerator; Fusion. With his current position Swiss Startup Factory, he aims to create a new generation of thriving innovative businesses. He finds motivation from his years of observing successful entrepreneurs and proclaims that the two most common behaviors of these individuals were that they were both; passionate and very hard working. Mike Baur finds his motivation in his self-proclaimed mentor, Jean-Claude Biver, someone who was able to work his way up and change the Swiss watchmaking industry. Mike Baur emulates these characteristics, and believes that self-reliance, passion, and dedication are the foundation for a successful entrepreneur. Mike Baur utilizes his experience with investors and banking to give back to communities by holding speaking forums on how to accelerate startup ideas at universities and small to mid-size corporate offices. With over 20 years of experience in banking, wealth management, financial advising, Mike Baur understands the importance of creating, advising, and maintaining new businesses and their livelihood within the Swiss economy.
Marc Sparks is a successful, visionary, hard working businessman who believe that through the grace of God he was able to overcome the many hurdles and challenges he faced. Even though he is now a multimillionaire, Sparks remains very humble. He is also committed to giving back to his community every chance he gets. Sparks does so by helping aspiring entrepreneurs and proving support to the less fortunate in Austin, Dallas and many other areas of Texas. Through the assistance he provides countless children and adults are able to enjoy a better quality of life.
One of the charities to which Marc Sparks has provided support for over 30 years is a homeless shelter called the Samaritan House. The facility provides hundreds of men, women and children that are facing tough times nutritious meals, clean clothes and a safe place to sleep. The Samaritan House also offers educational support, health care, job training and help finding work and a permanent place to live. The facility has provided the assistance many people needed to turn their lives around and get back on track. To Marc Sparks, God has helped him to prosper so he could do just that. Learn more: http://www.fundacity.com/marc-sparks
Education is another area in which Marc Sparks gives generously. When he was in high school in Austin, Texas, Sparks found it difficult to maintain a ‘C’ average. Today, through the American Can! magnet high school program, he works to ensure struggling students get the support, encouragement and resources they need to do well. Sparks also understands that many needy children also get failing grades because they lack computers and other resources. Through his Sparky’s Kids foundation, he has provided over 1000 computers for underprivileged children in Texas.
Finding affordable, quality housing is another problem a growing number of working people in Texas face daily. Marc Sparks tries his best to address that problem in two ways. For decades he has volunteered to build houses for the poor through Habitat for Humanity. He also works to provide transitional housing for people who need a helping hand to get back on their feet. He is also involved in mentoring budding entrepreneurs and providing them with business tips and essential supplies and imparting valuable leaderships skills. His goal is to ensure they have the tools they need to succeed. Learn more: http://www.marcsparks.com/
One of Marc Sparks most recent projects is an inspirational book entitled ‘They Can’t Eat You.’ In it he talks about some of the struggles he faced when he was starting out in business and the steps he had to take in order to succeed. Sparks wants the book to show both his successes and his failures and help give entrepreneurs the confidence to keep trying.