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After Doubling Every Six Months, IDEA Lab Kids Plans To Grow to 700 Franchise Locations by 2023

The uniquely full STEAM children’s education franchise provides owners with a proven business model, multiple revenue streams and continuous training.

By Emily ClouseStaff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 10:10AM 09/20/19

A mother of three, Ghazal Qureshi has long been focused on positively influencing her children and others. While working as a software designer, she expanded her business skill set through founding two companies that catered to children: a clothing company, Ghazal Q, and a children’s creative space, Imagination Campus. Then, in 2011, Qureshi became interested in the idea of an after-school program that would provide an intellectually stimulating, hands-on educational experience—so naturally, she created her own. 

“I wanted my children to be involved in things that expanded their horizons and opened their minds,” she said. “I was a computer scientist. I was also passionate about spending time with my kids and doing things that allowed them to grow into amazing human beings. I chose to leave my high-paying job to work on something that excited me and benefited my kids.”

Founded in Houston, Texas, IDEA Lab Kids offers more than 50 unique and integrated science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) courses designed to inspire and engage children from ages 4 to 14. Since the concept began franchising in February 2017, IDEA Lab Kids has experienced exponential growth—and with plans to award up to 700 domestic locations within the next four years, the brand is just getting started. 

An acronym for Innovate, Discover, Explore, Achieve, IDEA Lab Kids is an enrichment facility that offers diversified revenue streams through onsite after-school classes, pop-up workshops, birthday parties and summer camps. Instead of treating subjects as if they exist in solitary silos, IDEA Lab integrates disciplines to create a full STEAM environment. For example, children can take a cooking course that involves working with a 3-D printer.

Our full STEAM solution is really what sets us apart,” said Qureshi. “Kids tend to have short attention spans, so the beauty of STEAM as a fully intermixed system is that it offers a wide variety of combinations based on the interests of the kids.”

IDEA Lab Kids recruits top talent from nearby universities to empower young learners in a safe, healthy environment. Classes provide a 12:1 student-to-instructor ratio to ensure personalized instruction for students of all levels. With more than 50 innovative STEAM courses, the franchise’s ever-evolving menu of fun and learning experiences has reached more than 25,000 IDEA Lab students and alumni.

Currently with 10 open locations in Texas, Florida, Maryland and New Jersey, the franchise also now operates in Canada and, most recently, Ecuador. In just two years of franchising, a total of 85 campuses have been awarded to more than 24 franchisees with over 20 new franchises operating by Fall 2019.

IDEA Lab Kids is also on the cusp of both national and international expansion. The brand plans to grow to 700 total U.S. locations over the next three to four years as well as into India, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The brand has identified Chicago as one upcoming target; the city has a market capacity of 20 to 25 units in the greater metropolitan area.

“In just two years since starting with just one franchise location, IDEA Lab has doubled our growth every six months, with sales increasing over 23% for each campus every year,” said Qureshi, adding that this growth has doubled the number of employees teach year since 2017.

As a growing brand, IDEA Lab Kids’ programs and processes are constantly evolving to meet the needs of young learners, families and franchisees alike. “Our research and development team is always looking to upgrade and innovate wherever we can,” said Qureshi. 

Case in point: This fall, the brand is rolling out a new proprietary online platform that will both give parents a snapshot of their children’s progress and streamline curriculum delivery for franchisees and staff. This is just one example of how IDEA Lab begins providing franchisees with a comprehensive resource system that includes marketing, business development and operational support as soon as they sign on.

The ideal IDEA Lab Kids franchisee has an entrepreneurial spirit, values the education of today’s youth and wants to make a difference in their community.

“Our franchisees see our STEAM focus and overarching approach as a huge asset,” said Qureshi. “If someone has ever wanted to own a business, IDEA Lab is a brand that offers the opportunity to give back to the community. The concept benefits kids and parents alike and provides a huge service to the community, all while allowing the franchisee to make a great living.”

The total startup investment for IDEA Lab Kids ranges from $$111,500 - $200,000 including a $35,000 single-unit and a $102,500 five-unit franchise fee. Financing options are available for those who qualify.

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