Seed World

Mike Pautler Says a Scientist Can Transition to a Businessman


If there’s one thing Mike Pautler, one of Seed World’s Top 10 Next Gen Leaders, would tell you — it’s that a scientist can also double as a businessman. As a plant biologist, he’s focused on applied genomics and trait development, though, recently his role has taken him on a transitioned path.

“I have transitioned from a research focus to an interesting leadership role where I have had to develop business competencies like strategy, finance and business development,” says Pautler, head of genomics services for Platform Genetics, Inc.

In his nine years post PhD, Pautler has led a horticultural trait development program at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre before moving and successfully launching Platform Genetics Inc.

“His tireless focus has been on delivering client satisfaction through cutting-edge genomics and trait development services,” says Ian Potter, president and CEO of Vineland Research, and Pautler’s nominator. “He’s quickly matured from a successful scientist to a business leader and served as a key driver for the rapid growth of Platform Genetics after incorporation.”

But, though Pautler’s work has taken him away from the research-side of things, he’s enjoyed growing in his new role.

“The work is tremendously diverse and always challenging as it involves applying genomics and biochemistry tools to many different crops,” he says. “Ultimately, our work is reflected in new and improved varieties hitting the market in a timely manner.”

But, for any of those challenged with a new transition and a desire to lead, he has one piece of advice: “Be bold, ambitious and lead by example. Provide support, remove barriers and create a culture of constant learning. Recognize and embrace diversity in all its forms and work to align individual goals with organizational goals.”

Want to read more from our Top 10? Check out:

Anya Gandy Takes Sustainability to the Next Level

Magan Lewis Creates Sparks in Those Around Her

Seed World Announces 2022’s Top 10 Next Generation Leaders

Jordan Cremer Says Building Trust is Key to Working with Customers

Catherine Frans Stands with Independent Seed Companies

Chris Holly Wants Companies to Leverage IP

Doug Miller’s Drive Comes from the Overlap of Agriculture and Technology