When an entrepreneur begins their startup, it is typically after coming up with an idea they consider brilliant or useful to the market. Often times, there is a need within the market that an entrepreneur identifies. Through tireless efforts, market research, extensive analysis and investment research, they finally execute a business plan.
Mike Baur, Executive Chairman of Swiss Startup Factory, believes that the business plan is only the byproduct of a person’s passion. Entrepreneurs bring an enormous amount of passion and excitement to investments, which ultimately is the selling-point for raising the capital needed. According to Mike, investors are not looking for an entrepreneur’s best power-point presentation; they’re looking for an entrepreneur’s passion. Mike co-founded Swiss Startup Factory three years ago. The privately-funded company now runs the number one startup accelerator program in Switzerland.
It is Mike’s belief that investors want to feel the passion that drives an entrepreneur’s ideas. Often times, an entrepreneur wonders if they have the right skills and ideas to become successful as a startup. Mike says that spontaneity is an entrepreneur’s guide to having the right business ideas. He doesn’t believe in searching for ideas. For Mike, the ideas will come to a person who is passionate. The moment an opportunity arises that shows a gap in the market, an entrepreneur who has the right passion will connect with the right opportunity. “Spontaneous ideas are always better than cramped ideas,” says Mike.
Mike co-founded Swiss Startup Factory with business partner Max Meister. When considering whether there would be anything done differently three years ago, they both are in agreement that the vast majority of the actions taken during the process were conducted the right way. However, when hindsight is 20/20, they also believe that there are always small changes that can be implemented. Max says, “I would have surely dedicated more time to investigating the motivations of potential entrepreneurs.”
Mike concurs with that assessment and believes that having a sound business plan does require a good work ethic, but the passion and motivation is a key factor. He says that is what ultimately determines if an entrepreneur has the capacity to build something successful and maintain it as a fully operational business. Mikes says, “The [dry spell] phases separate those entrepreneurs who really want it from those who do not really want it…If you overcome, you emerge stronger from it as an entrepreneur and as a person.”
Swiss Startup Factory assesses more than 1,000 startup projects every year. The 10-week accelerator program batches startup teams only once a year.