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Lightbridge Academy® Eyes Continued Franchise Growth in Pennsylvania, Builds on Existing Franchisee Success

Pennsylvania franchisee Nish Patel helped establish widespread brand awareness and demand in the market. Now, the fast-growing early education and child care brand is preparing to open new locations throughout the state.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 7:07AM 03/16/22

Despite opening his Lightbridge Academy® at the height of a global pandemic, multi-unit franchisee Nish Patel quickly found success with the 60-plus unit early education and child care brand. Enrollment at Patel’s Lightbridge Academy grew rapidly and consistently after opening, and with that growth has come an increased demand from prospective customers throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Now, Lightbridge Academy is gearing up to meet that demand with plans to open up to 30-35 new units throughout the state.

A scientist by trade, Patel made his way to the U.S. in 2007 to pursue studies in pharmacology. But Patel’s true passion, he says, is for entrepreneurship.

“I come from an entrepreneurial family in India, and I knew when I came to the U.S. that I was going to come across opportunities that I wouldn't find anywhere else in the world. Becoming a business owner was my chance to build something that would generate wealth for my family and my daughters,” Patel said. 

Patel’s path to Lightbridge Academy is a familiar one. He was looking for care for his young daughter, but he couldn’t find anything in his community that offered the kind of marriage between education and care that he was looking for.

So when Patel began looking into franchise opportunities to invest in, he knew he wanted to fill that gap.

“When we visited Lightbridge Academy’s home office, the whole Circle of Care® philosophy and foundation of family values really resonated with my family,” he explained. “It’s a place where owners, parents, children, staff members and the community come together as a supportive family.”

As Patel focuses on establishing new locations in Bucks and Montgomery counties, Lightbridge Academy is building on his momentum to push ahead with further development throughout the state.

“One of the nice things about Pennsylvania is that it’s really in our backyard,” said Jim DiRugeris, Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales at Lightbridge Academy, which is headquartered in New Jersey. “We know the markets and are interested in growing where residential growth is happening outside of Philadelphia. Our franchisees have driven the success of the brand in their respective markets, and we’re looking forward to helping franchisees continue to expand and grow with multiple units.”

While Lightbridge is targeting a few key markets in Pennsylvania, DiRugeris says that the brand will go where it can find franchisees that align with the company’s core values. 

“There is plenty of room for growth in the Philadelphia market as well as in Pittsburgh,” he said. “And while we don’t have a presence in the center of the state, we’re interested in bringing the Lightbridge Academy brand to families in cities like York and Lancaster. We know the value of the programs and services we offer and the unique solutions we offer busy working parents.”

Throughout 2022, DiRugeris says Lightbridge plans to award anywhere from five to 10 new agreements in Pennsylvania. With each unit, DiRugeris says there are between 25 and 30 new jobs created for those communities.

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.