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IDEA Lab Kids to Expand Across Toronto Starting with Grand Opening in Richmond Hill

Master franchisee Ahsan Raza and his business partner Kumail Meghani plan to make IDEA Lab Kids a household name in Toronto by growing to 15 locations over the next five years — putting its Richmond Hill next on the list.

Karen Wong, a franchisee with IDEA Labs Kids in Canada, opened the Greater Toronto area’s second IDEA Labs location this past December. And even with the challenge of opening during the pandemic, Wong says she’s excited to bring a new learning opportunity to kids in the community who are eager to get involved in STEAM education. 

“We’re hoping to have their support for being in the community. Our goal for this school is to get kids learning at home and build on their experiences so that they can have fun. Especially during COVID-19 and locked up periods, kids are itching to move and parents are dying to get them to do something. In a safe environment that we can survive, children’s education won’t be compromised,” said Wong.

IDEA Lab Kids offers a hands-on educational experience for children ages 4 to 14 to explore their love of science, technology, engineering, art and math subjects through classes, camps and open labs. With 95 assigned locations and 25 already operating, the brand has positioned itself to be the leader of the STEAM education space.

Like Wong, Ahsan Raza, Toronto’s master franchisor of IDEA Lab Kids, is thrilled to have the Richmond Hill opened and operating. He says it’s helping the brand take strides toward reaching its goal of dominating the Toronto area.

Before signing on with IDEA Lab Kids, Raza spent his time in real estate learning the ins and outs of the market, while his business partner and friend of over 10 years, Kumail Meghani, worked as an accountant for an independent school. Both continue to work in their separate professions, but heir shared passion to spark curiosity and learning opportunities in kids drove the pair to develop the STEAM-based supplemental education franchise all over Canada.

Raza, who has been involved in operating STEAM-based community camps over the last seven years, said he was thoroughly impressed with IDEA Lab Kids’ cutting-edge curriculum.

“While a lot of other after-school programs offer things that are just certain elements of STEAM, [IDEA Lab Kids] is fully focused on STEAM,” said Raza. “After visiting a few of their locations I was blown away. I thought, ‘This is 10 times better than what I was doing.’”

“The curriculum was definitely an eye-catcher,” said Meghani. “And the fact that it was already built for us was huge. We looked at another franchise that was kid-focused, and it didn’t compare. At the top of my list of priorities was curriculum, and IDEA Lab Kids impressed in that department.” 

Beyond the curriculum, both Raza and Meghani were sold on the strong support available from the corporate level, the franchise training and the brand’s quick pivot to support virtual learning opportunities with IDEA Lab Plus when the pandemic hit. 

“The support that the head office has provided us has been great. This was new for both of us, so that’s been important. There have been changes, obviously, as we navigate through COVID-19, but that support hasn’t wavered. We come to them with our concerns, and we can usually come up with a solution,” said Raza.

“We went for hands-on training, and it really reassured us about our decision. We learned things that the kids would be learning and realized these were things we’d never done before, and that got us excited — drones, robotics you name it,” Meghani said. “These things are slowly creeping into the curriculum. STEAM and STEM are the future, and parents are recognizing that.”

Raza and Meghani have big dreams for their future with the brand. The pair’s initial growth plan is to open 15 locations across the Greater Toronto area over the next five years, with the goal of making IDEA Lab Kids synonymous with STEAM education opportunities in the area. 

“The Toronto market has a lot of potential. We’ve lived here our whole lives, and the amount of interest and curiosity surrounding STEAM is visible,” said Raza. “We want to be the most well-known STEAM program in Ontario and hopefully all of Canada. After Toronto, that’s our goal. I don’t think there's a comparable brand that offers all that IDEA Lab Kids does. We can take it nationwide and be just as successful as in the States.” 

“This next year is going to be a year of expansion. When it comes to education and enrichment programming, we have true advantages,” said Meghani. “That’s where we want to stand out and differentiate ourselves. When you think of STEAM, you think of IDEA Lab Kids. We do have far-reaching goals and visions, but corporate is doing their part in helping us to expand to those other regions.”

The startup costs for an IDEA Lab Kids franchise range from $98,100 to $271,000. The franchise fee is $35,500. To learn more about franchising with IDEA Lab Kids, visit