Switzerland is finding new job opportunities in technology-based companies, some of which offer services like Uber but in other industries. A lot of emphasis right now is on Internet of Things technology as well as artificial intelligence and robotics. Mike Baur, the Executive Chairman of the Swiss Startup Factory is taking a real interest in these developments right now and his company helps entrepreneurs put their ideas into action with the hope of turning them into disruptive businesses. Becoming an entrepreneur can be easy when you consider what you want to sell, but Baur says there are three keys to building a company that will be dominant for the long-term.
The first key to turning a startup into a big company is knowing what you need to do to connect with investors, clients and future executive team members. Nothing you do in business will ever happen by chance, so you need to take the initiative to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. The second key is being able to adapt when necessary because newer startups are going to be facing a lot more challenges than the old jobs, and Baur noted that one reason Swiss banking has dropped in competition has been its failure to adapt to the times. But the final key is you have to take risks which are not so much when you start your business, but more so when you manage your funds and make big administrative decisions as time goes on.
When it comes to taking risks, Mike Baur felt it was time to do just that upon realizing that banking was no longer where he wanted to finish at. For a long time it was his favorite job as he had started in it while only a 16-year old apprentice. He earned promotions and gained the favor of both managers and patrons over the years until he himself made it to executive management at Clariden Leu. Things changed in Swiss banking in 2008 when the recession hit even the banks that Baur was working for, and the new rules that this ushered in plus the drop in investments into Swiss banks convinced Baur he needed to do something new. The SSUF was thought to be unnecessary when Baur first co-founded it because the government was already issuing business grants to entrepreneurs, but the results of turning startup ideas into companies soon captured the attention of Swiss business leaders. Since 2014, hundreds of startups have come out of the SSUF portfolio.