Algal Scientific recently walked away with not only the top prize at this year's Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition but also $1 million in seed capital to commercialize the start-up's green-tech innovations.
The Plymouth-based company spent its first three years developing a wastewater treatment system that uses algae to remove nutrients from contaminated water. What's left over is the raw materials for biofuel production. That technology won the $500,000 grand prize at Accelerate Michigan but also helped the company lock down a $1 million Series A round, which include contributions from the Michigan Economic Development Corp, angel investors and Envy Capital
in Farmington Hills.
"There are a lot of different things on our to-do list and that commitment will help," says Paul Horst, CEO of Algal Scientific
Among those things are paying for animal testing the technology and hiring more staff. Algal Scientific
has hired five people over the last year and now employs 10 staff. Horst expects that number to grow as the firm begins commercial sales in 2013.
"We hope to scale up our production to 100 tons per year capacity," Horst says. "We are currently in a pilot project."
Algal Scientific currently calls the Michigan Life Science & Innovation Center
home, but plans to look for a new building to accommodate its projected growth next year. "Most likely very close to where we are right now," Horst says.
Source: Paul Horst, CEO of Algal Scientific
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.