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Mike Baur is a business startup guru from Switzerland who has taken a lot of mobile-based companies and industry disrupters from mere concept to functioning companies. He’s done this through his accelerator firm, the Swiss Startup Factory, and he often travels to market the accelerator and recruit entrepreneurs to join. Baur also speaks at university campuses and conferences like START Summit on how to build companies, and there are three keys he believes are necessary to do it.


Baur says entrepreneurs need to know the groundwork it’s going to take to build their companies and be able to set the work in motion for them on their own. Opportunities are never going to just come on their own for startups. Second, adaptability is a must because things will never stay the same in any industry, and when you see changes in trends you need to meet the new challenges. And finally, Baur says there will always be risks to startups financially, but you can’t let those deter you from going all in on it. Risk taking is even something Switzerland’s president challenged the business community with because traditional jobs that once anchored it’s economy were starting to move to the back burner.


Mike Baur has seen the seismic shift happen including Switzerland’s banking profession start to lose popularity. For many years that’s what Baur himself did was manage accounts and give investment advice for two of Switzerland’s largest banks. He learned the roles of his job by starting out as an intern at UBS Bank when he was 16 years old and worked his way up to various management positions from there. But by the time he had gotten to his advanced position at Clariden Leu Bank, the recession of 2008 had happened and the reputation associated with being a banker and the new laws that affected his job made him less passionate about it. Convinced it was time to look in another direction, Baur quit banking in 2014.


What Mike Baur wanted to do after leaving banking was look for tech companies, apps and other Internet of Things companies to invest in. With a lot of these new disrupters hitting the market, he believed he could find them if he created the right place to incubate them. He started floating the idea for the Swiss Startup Factory around various investment experts and marketing agencies, and it wasn’t long before its launch was ready. The SSUF has gotten startups off the ground by taking the entrepreneurs who founded them through a three-month program which if they pass with flying colors, they get funded to grow rapidly.


Julia JacksonAre you into the winemaking industry? Do you enjoy the taste of a smooth tasting wine? Have you ever heard of Jackson Family Wines? This industry is very exclusive thanks to its sophistication. Wine comes in many flavors, tastes, ingredients and aromas thanks to the abundance of grapes. These grapes are the blood of the industry in a sense. They grow all over the world and this is what gives it so many different varieties of taste. Cambria Estates Winery is at the pinnacle of the industry. Founded by Barbara Banke in 1987, this estate is in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley. Jackson Family Wines fall under this estates grand umbrella, and it is operated by the Jackson family. Julia Jackson, daughter of Barbara Banke, is one of the most important figures at the estate. She, and her siblings have meaningful roles here, but Julia stands out amongst the crowd.She is a salesman, a representative and a proprietor. Julia is more than just a pretty face.

Julia JacksonThis well-accomplished person has a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College, she has worked as a professional model, and she has completed one of the most intense general management programs at Stanford University. Julia travels with the international sales to foreign markets. This helps to introduce Jackson Family Wines to a much broader audience, which has helped the company grow at a dramatic rate. Jackson family Wines produce Chardonnay, Champagne, Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Julia’s non-profit organization, Seeds of Empowerment, is a direct reflection of what she firmly stands by. This organization celebrates ambitious women in the workplace, and it donates hundreds of thousands of dollars on a yearly basis. This woman has truly made a positive name for herself and it started with Cambria Estate Winery.