From Refugee to Award-Winning Entrepreneur who Built a Global Movement



‘While the companies featured in my prior books (Mercedes-Benz, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and Starbucks) demonstrate impressive brand power, none has been in a position to fundamentally shape society on par with MindChamps.’

Dr Joseph A. Michelli,

No. 1 Bestselling Author

New York Times & Wall Street Journal




The Personal Journey that Led to a Learning Revolution. 

‘She’s asking what your name is, Stupid!’


David Chiem, MindChamps’ Founder CEO, can still clearly remember being called ‘stupid’.



It was on his first day of school in Australia in 1978. David, aged 9, and his family had arrived in the country as ‘boat people’ after fleeing war-ravaged Vietnam, surviving a close encounter with murderous pirates and enduring life in a Malaysian refugee camp.


“I arrived not speaking a word of English — not even hello,” he explains. “I can remember being called stupid in my own language by another student because the teacher was asking my name, but I didn’t understand her.”


Education was highly prized by David’s family, a mindset reinforced by their traumatic escape from Vietnam. “My father had a strong philosophy of never taking anything for granted, and my parents always said that the one thing no one could ever take from you was your education,” he says. “This gave me a very strong mindset, and I was determined to make a contribution.” That strong focus on education, coupled with his earlier trauma, pushed David to excel in his studies because his father had always wanted him to be a doctor.


At the age of 14, David landed the starring role on Butterfly Island, becoming the first Asian-Australian to be given a lead role on mainstream television and appearing on TV screens around the world. As a result, although he aced his Higher School Certificate, rather than studying medicine, he chose the path of his new-found passion to study acting and filmmaking.


As he studied the craft of filmmaking, David had an epiphany. He became fascinated by the idea that there could be another way of teaching children. They faced far greater demands on their education than previous generations, so, instead of rote learning, drilling and memorising content, why not help children to understand how to learn and more importantly develop the mindset of enthusiastic, life-long learners?


“While I always did well at school and enjoyed it, I saw that many students didn’t do so well. I became curious as to why. I began to suspect that it was because their education experience simply didn’t engage them,” he explains.


From the Stage to the Classroom


In 1998 he decided to follow his passion and founded MindChamps — a ground-breaking early learning educational organization based on strategies derived from research in ‘the 4 Domains’ of Neuroscience, Psychology, Education and Theater.


Since its inception in Sydney, MindChamps has grown from point zero to achieving the number one brand position in the highly competitive Singapore premium preschool space, with a market share of 38.5%.*


Preparing Children for Success in the 21st Century

“While both Cesar Ritz and David Chiem have built businesses that strive for transformational excellence, there is one fundamental difference between MindChamps and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. That difference relates to the speed by which MindChamps has catapulted to international prominence.”

Dr Joseph A. Michelli


MindChamps makes a difference in the lives of children by providing the best in early childhood curriculum and care. By synthesising and distilling more than two decades of research in cutting-edge enrichment programs, the MindChamps research and programme development team developed a preschool curriculum that rapidly propelled the MindChamps model to its current industry-leading position.


The MindChamps Global Research Advisory and Education Team is chaired by world-renowned neuroscientist Emeritus Professor Allan Snyder, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Marconi Prize-winner. Professor Snyder is the researcher who studied and coined the term ‘Champion Mindset’, based on studies of the world’s great achievers, which enables every individual to become the best that they can be.


MindChamps PreSchool offers programs based on its research-based, revolutionary 3-Mind model of education: The Learning Mind promotes academic excellence; the Creative Mind frees the imagination; and the Champion Mind instills perserverance and excellence. This 3-Mind model was introduced in the 2007 best-seller The 3-Mind Revolution, co-authored by David and Brian Caswell, MindChamps’ Dean of Research and Program Development.




 The Intellectual Property Leader in Early Learning – the only Education Group to have a patent-pending program


Unlike other Early Learning organizations, MindChamps has its own unique, research-backed curriculum and Intellectual Property. This commitment to developing its own Intellectual Property resulted in MindChamps being accorded the WIPO-IPOS IP Award in 2015 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) for excellence in the brand’s Trademark Portfolio.



As part of MindChamps V2.0, MindChamps Music, the world’s first integrated music-in-education program, was introduced last year as a key component of MindChamps’ core curriculum.


A breakthrough synthesis of decades of research by Emeritus Professor Larry Scripp (of Harvard’s ‘Project Zero’ and the prestigious New England Conservatory, Boston, USA) together with the 3-Mind education model, this revolutionary program has achieved patent-pending status in the U.S.A. and Singapore (U.S.A. Patent Pending: 17/644,293 and Singapore Patent Pending: 10202113952V), something unheard of in the education domain. MindChamps PreSchool is the only preschool in the world to have achieved this.


 The MindChamps Early Learning Movement is now in America!


What began as a research centre in Sydney, taking the number one market share in Singapore for premium preschools and expanding into Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar, is now set to break through into the US market!

MindChamps Founder CEO David Chiem with new franchisees who recently completed the MindChamps Trinity Leadership Training.


“The MindChamps Way is incredible and the way they view children and how they want to shape the early learning industry is something that the world needs. It truly feels like being part of a movement rather than a franchise.”

Jasmine Van Twest

Former financial auditor and MindChamps International PreSchool & Early Learning franchisee


“MindChamps began as a calling to make a difference by creating an approach to education that will give all children the competitive edge to face the rapidly changing world,” says David. “We are keen to find the right business partners who want to contribute to their community while creating prosperity for their own family in the US.”


To discover more about why MindChamps International PreSchool is your dream business, visit 



*Survey conducted by Influential Brands