It’s not usually too hard to come up with an idea for a business because whenever you realize a demand for a product exists and no solution to meet that demand has been found, you practically have your business idea. But building around that idea to turn it into a real company that will be around for years to come is another stage in and of itself. Mike Baur, the Chairman of the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) helps people turn their ideas into companies and he has several tips on doing that that he recommends entrepreneurs follow.
Baur says first that you need to know what to do to make the business happen, and that includes being able to reach venture capital investors and win them over, and not being afraid to share your business ideas with others. You also need a business plan that’s going to be adaptable. In a business world that’s now being dominated by technology and trends changing faster than ever, the business model that works today may not work tomorrow, and you need to be ready to change yours when necessary. And finally Baur says risk taking is also a big part of sustainable businesses. The risk taking isn’t so much starting a business, but making decisions both large and small in how it’s going to be run, and you cannot be afraid to take well thought out risks.
Mike Baur took a risk himself when he decided to leave a pretty steady paying job in banking and put his investments in brand new startups and hope that the SSUF would be a success. Baur had started in banking at UBS as a teenage intern back in 1991 and was there until 2007. He then moved to Clariden Leu and became an executive and appeared to be at the top of his career. But several things changed his mind about continuing in banking including the new government restrictions that came in the years after the recession hit hard. Baur officially left banking in 2014 and decided to start going his own way.
The SSSUF originated with an idea for investor-based capital supply through Think Reloaded, the company Baur originally founded. But as Baur grew his idea into a systematic approach to bringing businesses online in less than a year, he brought other executives from firms like CTI Group and later Fintech Fusion along with his plan and soon the SSUF was running full-speed. At the SSUF, entrepreneurs gain knowledge not only on obtaining the capital they need and how to formulate their execution blueprints, but they’re also tested on how they’ll handle high-pressure situations and make decisions that could influence the overall direction of their business. Companies that make it to execution stage can be eligible for free office space for several months.