Podcast: Hard Truths by Vertex | Series 2 | Episode 8 - How Guan Dian built a Tech Unicorn from Ground up to address the Trillion-dollar R&D market

Elise TAN | 20 Feb 2024

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, and part of our annual Vertex Female Leader Series, we are sharing beautiful, untold stories of our female leaders overcoming the odds and obstacles to build businesses that are disruptive, yet transformative to the lives of many. Today we are proud to feature Guan Dian, cofounder of Patsnap.

What does it take to go from ground up to build a SaaS company address the global trillion-dollar R&D market?

Imagine building a global tech powerhouse from scratch. That's the story of Guan Dian, cofounder, CMO and APAC GM of Patsnap, a pioneer in AI-powered patent search and analytics. From humble beginnings in China to leading a global tech team, Guan Dian's story is one of resilience, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of service excellence.

See how Guan Dian transformed Patsnap from a small startup into a dominant force in the tech industry through her visionary leadership and strategic partnerships. Discover how she navigated cutthroat competition, industry disruption, and even global pandemics to propel Patsnap to success.


00:00 | Introduction

02:26 | What is Guan Dian's role in Patsnap?

04:39 | Why did Dian leave her "cushy job" to join a startup?

09:08 | What have been some remarkable challenges in the journey?

13:23 | How Dian realized that she has been pitching to the wrong people

18:23 | Advice for female founders

21:54 | Showing resilience at the face of adversity

25:21 | What were some sacrifices Dian had to make along the way?

27:50 | How did Patsnap meet Vertex?

31:39 | How has Patsnap incorporated AI into their system?

42:12 | Future of Patsnap

Tune in here:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/in/podcast/hard-truths-by-vertex/id1659392336?i=1000645954385




(Please find the transcript here)

Our Guest, Guan Dian’s Bio:

Guan Dian is the cofounder, CMO, APAC GM of Patsnap — a leading provider of research and development (R&D) analytics with AI-powered technology and machine learning. The company has grown from a small four-person operation to international prominence in the highly competitive field of patent analytics. Today Patsnap enables more than 12,000 customers in more than 50 countries to access market, technology, and competitive intelligence as well as patent insights to take products from ideation to commercialization. In her current role at Patsnap, Guan leads the company’s Asia Pacific business.

Guan has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. Guan started their career as a software engineer at MooWee.

Guan Dian has a background in management science and engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Management Information Systems from the National University of Singapore. She was part of the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and 2021 Tatler’s Asia’s Most Influential.

​Celebrating women founders is close to heart for Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India. Since our first few funds, we have been leading the most number of investments into women led startup companies in the Southeast Asia region. For our 4th fund, 35% of our invested companies are women led ones. In our latest fund [5th fund], we raised US$541 million, out of which we have a co-investment envelope of US$50 million that will co-invest alongside the main fund in startups led by women founders. This #VertexFemaleleaderseries is part of our ongoing support for women in tech. Watch the video below for more.

Missed the other episodes?

Tune in on the other episodes here.

Your Host

Elise Tan is the Director of Communications and Community at Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Prior to joining Vertex, she has had extensive experience in investor relations and partnership at global venture funds and accelerators with more than $100m in AUM. Elise also currently runs a Southeast Asia-based startup community of nearly 800 entrepreneurs called the Asia Startup network and actively supports their startup journey through panels, meet-ups, and mentoring programs.

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India is a pioneer in investing in tech start-ups in this region and has helped to build a number of unicorns. In this podcast, we seek to share and uncover the Hard Truth - raw, unfiltered insights and venture capital knowledge from across Southeast Asia and India. Tune in to learn from leading founders, innovators, venture capitalists, and industry experts in the region and to gain industry insights from those in the know.

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