One of the most important things to know about starting a business is how to sell it to venture capital investors or bank loan officers because even though you may be able to get it initially started with your own capital, you’re likely going to need an influx of big capital to be able to fully serve your customers. Mike Baur, a founding member and current Chairman of the Swiss Startup Factory has a whole program at this company dedicated to that cause. At the SSUF, entrepreneurs learn how to make pitches to venture capitalists and if they can successfully do that, the SSUF gives them access to funding.
To really make a case to venture capital investors, Mike Baur says there’s three things involved with this that you should know about. The first is making everything happen by doing the launch work and not waiting for opportunity to happen because such opportunities don’t come that way. The work is never ending even once your startup reaches execution stage because you’re always competing with others. The second is that your business industry’s environment will never remain the same, so always be willing to adapt and change things when change comes your way. And the third part of running your business is taking risks, and the risks go beyond just starting the business to the things that happen as part of your marketing and growth strategy.
Mike Baur got into startup accelerating after closing the door on his banking career. It began in 1991 when he was an apprentice at UBS Bank back when Switzerland’s banking industry was the nation’s economic cornerstone. He became an expert advisor and account manager with expertise in securities trading, retirement accounts, business credit and other services that he had the privilege of offering to some of Switzerland’s wealthiest businessmen. For many years Baur’s job was steady, but it was the 2008 financial crisis that began in the US and made its way over to Switzerland that started changing Baur’s career. The recession didn’t end his career, but the new regulations that came out in the aftermath changed his perspective on banking, and several years later he retired from it.
Mike Baur became interested in starting a business accelerator because he saw a lot of untapped potential there that he knew if investors took interest in could really help Switzerland’s business landscape. Baur started bringing executives and financial experts together to form the SSUF, and two of its sponsors included Helvetia and the Goldback Group. The reason the SSUF has been so successful is that it’s shown investors just how fast companies can get started with the right amount of push behind them.