Should you share your ideas with those around you if you’re planning to start a business and want to be number one in your industry? Some experts might tell you to keep those ideas as closely-guarded secrets, but for Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) Chairman Mike Baur, sharing ideas can lead to even more ideas added onto them and forming partnerships even with other entrepreneurs. The SSUF has been a place where ideas have freely flowed, and Baur has taken pride in offering coaching and advice to those with little or no experience in business administration. Baur works with Red Bull Media as well and he told them other things that entrepreneurs should keep in mind when starting a business.
Along with sharing your business ideas, Baur says more ideas come to you as you realize there’s a need that has not yet been met by another company. He also says that mass and inexpensive communication has made conditions very ripe today for startups, and thanks to services like Squarespace and WordPress you can have your own website up very quickly. But Baur also says the most important part of starting a business is not being afraid of failure because failure means you reanalyze your strategy and then move forward with a new one.
Mike Baur went from contacting clients and helping them manage personal and business accounts in a bank office, to now spending his time out among entrepreneurs and having fun with activities like pitch contests and testing new business ideas. Baur was only 16 when he chose banking as a career, and it was considered to be one of the top jobs in Switzerland at the time since many businessmen from around the world chose Swiss banks for wealth management. He passed through the apprenticeship stage and became a highly commended advisor for UBS Bank, and then he joined the Board of Directors in commercial banking at Clariden Leu, a subsidiary of Credit Suisse. But he quit banking around 2013 because the job was becoming more of a grind and was no longer as fulfilling due to new laws and the tainting of the banking industry reputation.
Mike Baur met Max Meister and pitched his idea for an accelerator to several private equity firms like Goldback Group, AMAG, Y&R Group, and he also joined it in partnership with the University of St. Gallen. The SSUF has had a large interest in Internet of Things startups and financial technology, and this has led to independent startups within the SSUF like Think Reloaded and Fintech Fusion. Startups that have come from the SSUF include MoveAgain, SnowCookie and Joineer.