Remembering Michael Horten

Every Friday, Atlanta Tech Village Advisors meet with our startups to offer their wisdom and experience, at no price. We ask that they come at least once a month. Michael Horten was a beloved Advisor who came more often than required and was a consistent, trusted, and joy-filled presence.

Michael Horten was born in Copenhagen, Denmark but eventually ended up in the US to practice law and grow his wonderful family.  Michael spent 25 years at the firm of King & Spalding where he retired to start HortenCC.  HortenCC is a corporate law firm specializing in the representation of entrepreneurial growth companies of all sizes from inception through exit, along with the investors that finance them. Michael believed in entrepreneurs so much so that his company served startups at an affordable cost as a pay it forward initiative. 

For the past three years, Michael literally served hundreds of Villagers through our advising program and our community had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Michael both personally and professionally.  Michael loved to coach our members through the legal hardships of starting and growing a business but he also loved to know their personal story.  He was gifted at asking intentional questions and always wanted to see pictures of our sons and daughters. He would share proud stories of his children and grandchildren and was generous to a fault, bringing gifts for new babies and bottles of fabulous wine for thank yous and celebrations. Entrepreneurship is hard and at times lonely but Michael entered into people’s lives in a real and genuine way.  He was skilled and gave wise counsel, but he also cared for people far more than an agenda or a business. Michael was genuine, cared for people equally, and filled a room with joy. 

Sadly at the age of 74, Michael passed away on March 27th skiing with his brother in Norway. Michael survived by his incredible wife, Nova, two children, John and Christina, and his sweet grandchildren who know him as Pop-Pop. If you knew Michael, you knew his family was his world! He often spoke about family trips to St. Simons and recently a trip to Disney World – I must say, I have never heard of someone so excited to take his family to Disney. 

Fridays at the Village will never be the same.  When someone so influential and special suddenly passes away, it leaves a huge hole, and I’m not sure anyone could ever quite fill Michael’s spot. Remembering Michael Horten is remembering to live nobly, smile often, take moments to listen, and take time to care for others. 

Upon announcing the news about Michael, Villagers and fellow Advisors responded with this,

Michael Horton really represented a lot in my personal and professional development. He represented a great deal to me.
I consulted him as my advisor on numerous occasions and have always enjoyed his company.
This is very, very sad. I will miss him and never forget him, ever, in my life. – Yuri Eliezer

Michael wasn’t just a member of the Village, he was a personal friend. Michael gave and gave without hesitation, he cared for me as a whole person, and he was a light in a world that seems dark sometimes.  This community will be very different without Michael. He will be missed beyond measure. – Karen Houghton

Horten was a kind and wonderful man. He was invaluable in helping get Storj off the ground, and I’m sure many other startups have him to credit for their success. He will be greatly missed. – Shawn Wilkinson

That is the impact Michael had on people.

A private family service was held to honor Michael’s life in St. Simons. However, If you would like to celebrate and also honor Michael, please send fond memories and kind words to his family. They are checking this email and would love to hear how Michael impacted your life. Cheers to you, Michael Horten, you will always be remembered and never forgotten.