Mike Baur is the co-founder of a business incubator and investment firm known as the Swiss Startup Factory in Zurich, Switzerland and he and CEO Max Meister just announced that they had a new member joining the executive team. Antonio Gasser will now be joining the company as the Chief Marketing Officer and will be responsible for the communications channels and relationships with partner companies. Gasser has the credentials to hold the position as a previous radio show host at tranceescape followed by work at Red Bull Media and the founding of Swiss Startup Media GmbH. Baur and Meister are pleased to have Gasser join the team because he has built solid relationships in the past, and his branding expertise aligns with the mission of SSUF.
Mike Baur spent over 20 years in banking before going into startup accelerator funding. The Wall Street Journal in an op-ed about Swiss banking wrote about Baur’s story in which he started at UBS Bank at age 16 and went through their apprenticeship program. A human resources manager told him that if he followed a chart that was drawn up, that he would earn a promotion here or there, and eventually he would retire at the designated age. Baur was on the right track to do so for most of his career, but then the financial crisis of 2008 came and UBS Bank started scaling back and eventually closing in the following years. Baur didn’t quit banking right away and actually landed an even higher ranking position at Clariden Leu, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse. But he found that banking was becoming too old-fashioned in the way it was done, and too many regulations were making it difficult.
Mike Baur decided in 2014 that it was time to look at what was happening around the world with young technology developers and business-minded people. He knew the right disruptive technologies could be the best investments for the right price, but he realized many of these tech entrepreneurs didn’t have the funding to build their companies. With the help of Max Meister, Oliver Walzer and members of the Goldback Group and CTI, Baur was able to create the SSUF and a 3-month program that tests startups to their limits to see if they become a great company to invest in. Thus far the SSUF and Baur’s other company Think Reloaded have funded thousands in their portfolio.