About Vishen Lakhiani
Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Vishen moved to Michigan, USA in 1995 to study at the University of Michigan, where
he majored in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. There he discovered AIESEC, a non-profit student run organization dedicated to nurturing young leaders into becoming global leaders who want to make a difference in society, and eventually became the Vice President for the USAteam, in charge of nominating and sending AIESEC students abroad for internship programs.
In 2001 he moved to New York to work for a technology company in the legal industry. To deal with the stress of the job, he turned to meditation, and studied The Silva Method, a popular mindfulness program developed by Jose Silva. Inspired, he became a qualified instructor and began teaching meditation classes for the program.
Realizing that there was great potential for meditation and personal development in the digital world, he launched Mindvalley in 2003 (with former partner Mike Reining) as a digital publisher and marketer of self-help programs and courses.
“It all started with $700 and a beat-up Toshiba laptop in Starbucks,” said Vishen often of how Mindvalley was first started. Today, Mindvalley is a team of 200 employees from 40 different nations with a wide range of businesses and products launched under its wing. The best part is, Vishen built it with zero angel investors, venture capitalist money or government grants.
Through Mindvalley, he builds businesses that innovate on transformational education geared towrads positive impact for all ages, through mediums that range from digital publishing, educational technology, online learning, mobile apps, content, events and more.
The company’s mission is to empower people to live healthier and happier lives, unleash their fullest potential and Be Extraordinary by introducing them to tools and ideas that are currently missing from traditional education systems.
Collectively, the company now employs brilliant minds from almost 40 different countries, most of whom work in the adult playpen that is the Mindvalley HQ – its company culture and office design have been recognized by the likes of Huffington Post, BBC and Inc. Magazine.
Vishen is extremely passionate about work culture. By 2020, he aims to drive Mindvalley into becoming the number one place in the world to work, a dream he had presented through his TEDx talk, ‘How to Build the World’s Greatest Workplace’.
With the company, he’s also launched MindvalleyAcademy.com, a cutting-edge digital learning platform and store for transformational programs, courses and teachings on personal growth, mindfulness and wellbeing, with a current community of 1.5 million students and subscribers.
He’s also the founder of Omvana, which has been the highest grossing Health and Fitness app on the iTunes store in over 30 countries (and was featured in CBS News, BBC, Entrepreneur.com, The Huffington Post, and more). In mid-2014, Mindvalley’s second mobile app, Dormio, was the second most downloaded Health and Fitness app in the USA.
Outside Mindvalley, Vishen co-founded Dealmates.com. It successfully raised US$2 million in venture capital funding from Intel Capital. In early 2014, Dealmates.com was acquired by the iBuy Group and was successfully listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Today, the iBuy Group has a market capital of over US$120 million.
Vishen also sits on the Innovation Board of the X Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind. In 2015 he was integrated into the Transformational Leadership Council alongside coaches and entrepreneurs in personal and professional development such as Jack Canfield, Jim Kwik and Lisa Nichols.
In Kuala Lumpur, Vishen’s goal is to culture-hack the behaviour of young leaders and entrepreneurs to turn his home city into one of the top startup ecosystems in the world. He does this through funding and hosting free entrepreneurial education gatherings at Mindvalley’s Hall of Awesomeness.
As of 2015, over 30,000 Malaysian and non-Malaysian attendees have taken part in the activities at the hall, as a fully sponsored and affordable meeting space for events that inspire entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, education, technology and innovation in Malaysia.
Another successful creation that came out of Mindvalley is Awesomeness Fest — an invite-only transformational event that gathers an extraordinary community of change-makers and visionaries who are driven by epic ideas to impact humanity – in paradise locations across the world to receive powerful training, profound mind shifts, bio-hacking techniques, deep connections, incredible adventures and unique opportunities to multiply your impact and give back.