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Solis Agrosciences announces expansion of leadership teamqrcode

Jan. 23, 2024

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Jan. 23, 2024

Solis Agrosciences
United States  United States

Solis Agrosciences, created to provide R&D crop development services, announced the appointments of Charlie Bolten as Chief Executive Officer and Susan Martino-Catt, PhD, as Chief Operating Officer.

"Solis is off to a fantastic start, and we are excited to have the opportunity to bring such strong management talent into the company,″ said Solis Co-founder and Board Chair Martha Schlicher, PhD. "I’ve worked closely with Charlie and Susan for years and know that they are the right leaders to help accelerate the Solis vision."

Prior to Solis, Bolten was President of BioGenerator Ventures, where he led the organization, which focuses on building Agtech businesses among other startups. While at BioGenerator, Bolten co-founded Solis and served on its board of directors. He previously served as Board Chair of CoverCress, which was acquired through a joint venture between Bayer, Chevron and Bunge. Bolten also served on the boards of directors for Impetus Agriculture, MediBeacon, Plastomics, SentiAR, Canopy Biosciences (acquired by Bruker), Confluence Life Sciences (acquired by Aclaris) and numerous other startup companies. Before joining BioGenerator Ventures, Bolten worked as a research scientist at Monsanto, Searle, Pharmacia and Pfizer.

"I am thrilled to join the Solis team," said Bolten. "St. Louis is a global leader in Agtech research, and Solis, with its impressive portfolio of client companies from around the world, is strongly positioned to help continue building momentum in the 39 North Agtech Innovation District and to become a premier enabler for Agtech innovators.″

Jerry Steiner, co-founder and former CEO of CoverCress, noted, ″Charlie was a great help to me as a first-time startup CEO. He has a strong ability to identify priorities and focus the organization’s energy on them. These skills are critical to any successful startup.″

Susan Martino-Catt, PhD, joins Solis as chief operating officer following successful leadership roles at various large Agtech corporations and startups including Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto, Inari and Benson Hill. Martino-Catt was also the Director, Systems Biology at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. Before moving into startups, Martino-Catt’s career included various roles in biotechnology, global regulatory, ‘omics technologies and supply chain.

"Having worked across the Agtech industry for over 30 years, I see a unique opportunity with Solis," said Martino-Catt. "Our industry needs innovation to meet the economic pressures facing both growers and Agtech companies, and Solis can help deliver those new technologies more efficiently than in traditional brick-and-mortar models. I am excited to join the Solis team to advance this innovation."

Bolten and Martino-Catt join a strong Solis leadership team that includes Schlicher, Mary Fernandes, PhD, co-founder and president, Dustin Snyder, chief financial officer, David Smoller, PhD, co-founder and board director, and Brian Salmo, board director.

″Hermann was excited to join Solis as a capital partner in 2022 when Charlie approached us with the opportunity,″ said Robert Hermann, Jr., chairman and CEO of Hermann Companies. ″Since then, it has been impressive to watch Solis grow its team and capabilities. Charlie and Susan will help speed development of even more innovative solutions for Solis customers.″

Solis waslaunched in 2022 to fill a need forspecialized agricultural biotech research. The company has demonstrated significant traction, employing a growing team of experienced scientists and launching the world's first Plant Pipeline as a Service™.

Solis’ lead investors are Hermann Companies, Jim McKelvey’s Saloniki Investments and BioGenerator Ventures. Additional investors include QRM Capital, St. Louis Arch Angels, Missouri Technology Corporation, St. Louis County Port Authority's Helix Fund, CIG Spectrum and various angel investors.

″Solis is launching an exciting and new model for R&D services,″ said World Food Prize Laureate Robb Fraley, PhD. ″Meeting global challenges in climate, food security and sustainability requires new and improved crops. Solis will help scientists accelerate the discovery and commercialization of these important advances.″

Solis will continue to identify and put in place solutions for currently unmet customer needs to support critical agricultural innovations by adding new capabilities, building world-class infrastructure and acquiring synergistic assets. 


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