Yoshi Tabuchi was born and raised in Japan. He played soccer in his junior high and high school years. After he enrolled in his university, he started snowboarding, which is still his hobby he plays with his son. His dream was to live in a foreign country and the dream came true when he lived in the U.S. for his language study when he was a college student.
After more than a decade of working for a big company, he shifted his career towards working with visionary entrepreneurs. In 2014, he moved to Manila, the Philippines, and became Accelerator Manager for LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investor improving the quality of life of less advantaged people. Since 2015, he has been back and living in Japan, in which he took the role of Impact Officer of Social Impact Investment Foundation and Managing Director of Social Investment Partners. In 2019, he launched Tokyo Zebras Unite with his co-lead and in 2021, Zebras and Company, which invests and provides advisory services for zebra-aligned companies.
He has been a jury and the Jury President for the East Asia region of Cartier Women’s Initiative since 2019. Also, he is a visiting professor for i University and was a judge for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge 2019 and a judge and mentor for Impact Collective 2021.
He loves nature. In his private life, he restarted surfing as he moved closer to the beach after Covid-19. He also goes snowboarding on the weekends in the winter. His favorite books are “Adventure Finance”, “ZERO to ONE”, “21 Lessons for the 21st century” and “Adaptive Markets”. He lives with his wife and a 5-year-old boy in Japan.
He holds an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Originally from Japan, he has worked and studied in various regions including Japan, the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The first time I met Zebras Unite was meeting with Astrid Scholz, co-founder of Zebras Unite, in 2018 at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. After many years working in commercial industries and impact investing, I was a bit disappointed by the world and was searching for a direction and vision I could believe in to dedicate the rest of my career.
Throughout my career, I have met many entrepreneurs seeking alternative capital to venture capital. One such entrepreneur selling Japanese art crafts highly valued humanity and social impact as business metrics; therefore she wanted to maintain the size of her company at around 20 people and not to let it grow too fast. She still needed capital but couldn’t find the right one as all of the investors with whom she spoke were venture capitalists.
It was then that I learned about the concept of zebras from Astrid and I thought this is what I was seeking. I started Tokyo Zebras Unite as a co-lead in 2019 in Japan where we have created a movement.
How did we achieve this? We took a holistic approach from 3 angles:
- Trend: Posting on our blog consistently, some of which had over 15,000 viewers, and monthly events exceeding 19 times including one large-scale event with 20 speakers including Mara Zepeda from Zebras Unite last February. The concept of zebras has been taken by more than 30 media outlets and was named one of the most important topics in Japan by Nikkei Newspaper, the parent company of Financial Times.
- Advocacy: We have been in discussions with the cabinet office, ministries and regional governments, on how to incorporate zebras into a key policy pillar of Prime Minister Kishida, known as “new capitalism”.
- Business: We have been advocating the concept of zebras and making allies with companies, financial institutions and non-profit organizations. One such example is referred to as “shinise”, long-established businesses from a century or more ago, which I found have a similar mindset to zebras.
Zebras Unite has 29 chapters and this number is ever increasing. Having lived in and visited various countries, I obtained an understanding of different cultures which helps me contribute to uniting multicultural organizations like Zebras Unite. A diversified view of Asia and my experience in Japan will also allow me to contribute to the many chapters’ prosperity.
In addition, I co-founded an investment and advisory company to prove the concept and to make a case for alternative funding. So far Zebras Unite has shifted USD 2.6 billion to zebra-aligned companies. With the rise of zebras everywhere and the trend in shifting capital to the more impactful business, I believe we can even increase this number to USD 10 billion.
I alone cannot change the world, but we, as a collective, have the power to change modern capitalism and the world.
I would like to offer my candidacy for the board of Zebras Unite. Your vote will make a change.