As an INC. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year and a two-time “Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company” winner, Michael has started and grown several start-up companies. His network services company – Paranet, grew in 6 years to 27 offices with 1600 employees and revenues in excess of $120 million which he ultimately sold to Sprint in 1997.
Today he focuses on early-stage technology investments, philanthropy, family and fun. His investment company, Holthouse Interests, has numerous investments in early stage technology companies with the intent to maximize growth and return on invested capital. His family foundation, The Holthouse Foundation for Kids, focuses proactively on the needs of Houston’s most at-risk youth.
Philanthropy is an enormous part of Michael’s life and he has served on a variety of boards including Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and Sisters, The Children’s Museum, Boy Scouts of America and many others. Community is important too: Michael has involved himself in important groups including Young Presidents Organization, Leadership Houston, American Leadership Forum, Houston Technology Center and the Center for Houston’s Future. His largest philanthropic venture is called “Lemonade Day” which is a community-wide event which teaches youth how to start, own and operate their very own business, a lemonade stand. Lemonade Day is now in 85 cities in the USA and 14 countries around the world, having served well over a million youth.
The most treasured part of Michael’s life is spending time with his wife Lisa and their children. Michael received his economics and computer sciences degree in 1980 from Indiana State University.