Glasgow agritech firm gears up for US expansion with new recruits

SOLASTA Bio Appoints Paula Pinto as Chief Strategy Officer to Lead US Operations

SOLASTA Bio, an agritech scale-up specializing in the next generation of green insecticides, has announced the appointment of Paula Pinto as its new Chief Strategy Officer. Pinto, an industry veteran with over 25 years of international marketing and operational experience in the chemicals and agricultural industries, will be responsible for defining the company’s global market strategy and developing corporate alliances. She will also collaborate with Daphne Preuss, the newly appointed Chief Business Officer, in negotiating these alliances.

Paula Pinto’s Background and Expertise

Paula Pinto is a chemical engineer by training and has more than five years of board experience. She spent almost four years in leadership roles at UPL and nearly a decade with Arysta LifeScience, where she held global marketing, portfolio management, and strategic alliances roles. Pinto’s formative career was with GE Silicones and its predecessor/successor companies.

Daphne Preuss: Experienced Entrepreneur in Genetic and Biotechnology Innovations

Daphne Preuss, the newly appointed Chief Business Officer at SOLASTA Bio, is an experienced entrepreneur focused on bringing genetic and biotechnology innovations to agriculture. She previously founded and served as President and CEO of Chromatin for 11 years, where she developed and distributed sorghum seed to growers in over 50 countries. For the past four years, her firm Catalytical has supported the leaders of several companies in commercializing their visions.

SOLASTA Bio’s Mission and Leadership Team

SOLASTA Bio, based in Glasgow, is dedicated to developing nature-inspired pesticides for sustainable agriculture. The company is led by a management team consisting of Chief Executive Shireen Davies, Chief Scientific Officer Julian Dow, Chief Operating Officer Paul Bernasconi, Chair Rob Wylie, and Chief Financial Officer David Armour. The board directors include Shireen Davies, John Carrigan, Sherri Brown, and Nicky Deasy.

Expansion of US Operations and Growth Plans

Paula Pinto’s appointment as Chief Strategy Officer comes as SOLASTA Bio aims to expand its operations in the United States. Pinto will also be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company’s new base in North Carolina. With her significant experience in both major corporates and agritech start-ups, Pinto will play a crucial role in forging partnerships with corporations that align with SOLASTA Bio’s mission.

The company recently secured an investment round of £4 million to scale up the development of its nature-inspired pesticides. SOLASTA Bio has already conducted successful early-stage R&D trials with commercial partners and is on track to bring its first biopesticides to market in 2027/28, significantly faster than traditional pest control products.


The appointment of Paula Pinto as Chief Strategy Officer and the addition of Daphne Preuss as Chief Business Officer mark a significant step forward in SOLASTA Bio’s growth plans. With their expertise and passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions in agriculture, Pinto and Preuss will contribute to the company’s ambition of commercializing its products within the next four to five years. Their knowledge of the US market will be particularly valuable as SOLASTA Bio expands its operations in the coming months.


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