Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Engineering For Kids Soaring High


Published:

It’s one thing to hear about a young franchise with dramatic plans for growth. It’s quite another, in the eyes of this reporter, to hear about a franchise started by a full-time school teacher that’s up to 152 locations and in 22 countries just seven years after its founding. Wow!

Such was my surprise interviewing Dori Roberts, founder and CEO of Engineering For Kids, a Virginia-based franchise providing after-school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs for tens of thousands of creative kids.

“We’re just scratching the surface,” Roberts said of the company’s rocket-like growth rate, which even surprised her. “We’ve got a lot of room to grow, a lot more countries to grow in and internally we have master development deals in many countries and they haven’t even begun selling sub franchises yet.”

As a mother of two, Roberts started the franchise out of her home to fill a void in her community by starting an after-school club that taught STEM-related topics and applied those skills in a way that was more fun than typical in-school coursework.

Running counter to expectations—and Roberts’ own background—most of Engineering For Kids’ franchisees don’t come directly from education.

“We have a few, but it’s not the majority,” she said. “We have owners who have business backgrounds, marketing backgrounds, human resources, teaching and engineering, but there isn’t one background that dominates—most of our owners are parents, so I think that is the common thread.”

Engineering For Kids is geared to kids ages 4-14. Activities include designing and building rockets, lunar landers, roller coasters, sails, and catapults, as well as working with LEGO kits. In total, there are more than 300 lessons in 19 different focal areas.

“We don’t want the kids to feel like it’s an extension to what they’ve gone through during the school day,” she said. “The education side is important, but they’re applying what they’ve learned.”

The initial franchise fee is $22,500, with a total investment totaling somewhere between $38,000-$58,000. System-wide sales for 2015 doubled the previous year, up to $10 million, with 25 new franchises planned for this year.

Here’s hoping one of the new locations pops up within driving distance of the Twin Cities—I want in!

 

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Covers everything from good news to bad judgment

About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

Archives

Categories

Feed

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Franchise Times News Feed »

Recent Posts