Paul Horst

CEO of Algal Scientific Corp. in Plymouth, an advanced wastewater treatment technology company. The company's biotechnology and treatment process grows useful strains of algae off of high-strength wastewater sources quickly, efficiently, and at a large scale. Algal Scientific's system is at least 35 percent more efficient than a traditional sewage plant that uses air pumps, and can produce about 2.2 pounds of biomass for every 260 gallons of treated waste. Algal Scientific's original team formed as a joint effort between graduate students from the University of Michigan (UM) and Michigan State University. The team won first place in the inaugural DTE Energy clean energy prize business plan competition. After winning, the team established a lab and office at the Michigan Life Science Innovation Center. Since its founding in 2009, Algal has received funding from the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund and the First Step Fund, a partnership of the Invest Detroit Foundation, TechTown, Ann Arbor SPARK, and Automation Alley. Horst has more than 35 years of experience in management of technology ventures. His initial experience was as an environmental consulting engineer. He was a founder and CEO of Nematron Corp., which pioneered computer-based ruggedized operator displays for industrial and process control. Nematron was acquired by a public company and subsequently spun-off as an independent publicly traded company. Horst was president of DTE Energy Technologies, a subsidiary engaged in distributed generation and alternative energy. He was engaged in drafting the enabling legislation for NextEnergy, Michigan's alternative energy business incubator, and sat on the advisory board during its creation. He has served as a coach for the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest. With his family, he has logged more than 25,000 miles of blue water sailing and participated in the Expo '98 Round the World Rally. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and his MBA from UM, where he has been a lecturer on entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering, and a member of the alumni board for the department of chemical engineering. He received UM's 2010 Alumni Society Medal of Merit in chemical engineering.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My parents. My father was a small-business owner and installed the entrepreneurial gene in me.”

LAST BOOK READ: “The Steve Jobs bio by Walter Isaacson.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Integrity, adventuresome, being a good family man.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The field that I'm in today is based upon algae and it's headed into being a significant supplier of alternative fuels. What we're doing is in the area of food and nutritional products and animal feed. Others will be taking it into other products such as plastics.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “GPS. My family and I have been sailors and sailed around the world so it's more than just finding the grocery store.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “The north channel of Lake Huron.”


FAVORITE FOOD: “Ice cream.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I play bridge.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “To have lived with integrity and honesty in my personal and business life, for having started companies and created jobs that were fulfilling for people, and for providing wealth and opportunity for our family.”