EP. 122【EN】Celebrating Differences and Breaking Barriers – Mari Nishiyama, Startup Partner Lead @Stripe|Ecosystem builder

As the Startup Partner Lead at Stripe, Mari shares with us her inspiring journey of overcoming challenges, breaking barriers in Japan, and fostering personal growth. Passionate about fintech and building the startup ecosystem, Mari’s story is one on the power of self-reflection, learning from role models, and the importance of female-dominated communities.


Mari Nishiyama, Startup Partner Lead @Stripe|Ecosystem builder

Highly motivated professional specializing in Fintech, dedicated to supporting startup growth. As the Startup Partner Lead at Stripe, Mari’s focus is on building robust startup ecosystems in Japan & Korea.


Embracing Differences

Mari’s story began with the challenges she faced growing up as a woman in Japan. In a culture where making mistakes, speaking up, questioning, or being different were often discouraged, Mari experienced a turning point when she moved to the United States. There, she discovered that celebrating one’s uniqueness was not just accepted but encouraged. This ‘ah ha’ moment marked the beginning of her journey towards self-confidence and not caring about what others think.

The Power of Diverse Communities

Mari is an advocate for challenging the status quo and speaking up, while recognizing that this can be a daunting task, her advice to our audience is to expose oneself to diverse communities, spanning different generations and industries. This exposure, she asserts, is a way to cultivate open-mindedness, encourage knowledge exchange, and gain exposure to a wide array of news and opinions that might otherwise remain hidden.

The Power of Female-Dominated Communities 

One of Mari’s key insights is the value of female-dominated communities. She stressed the importance of creating spaces where women can discuss challenges, share experiences, and inspire each other to grow. 

Mari’s final Advice for Growth:

  • Self-reflection as a motivational tool: She recommends conducting a self-review every three months, where individuals evaluate what went well, what didn’t, and set intentional goals. This practice, she emphasizes, can lead to tremendous personal growth.
  • Learning from female role models: Mari looks up to women from various backgrounds, such as actresses, CEOs, executives, and athletes. She pays close attention to their empowerment initiatives and even maintains a blog to track her learnings and gather inspiration.

【 在這集聽她說 】

  1. Mari’s career transition from traditional banking to fintech and building startup ecosystems.
  2. The ‘ah ha’ moment towards building self-confidence.
  3. The power of diverse and female-dominated communities.
  4. Advice for growth: regular check ins, self-reflection and learning from female role models.


For our Japanese readers, check out Mari‘s blog on female role models and leaders here: https://www.marwip.xyz/

WIP ( Women in Power ) は、世界で活躍する女性リーダーを特集するブログです いつも活躍する女性を見ると、「私もこうなりたい!」とモチベーションをもらうので、この熱を日本の女性に共有したいという思いから始めました  一人でも多くの方にこの熱が伝わると憂しいです