Education doesn’t need to be dry and boring. In fact, Snapology creates a way for kids to learn STEAM concepts by playing with popular toys.
A team of two sisters founded the company to help their own kids. And now, they franchise the business to others who want to provide this type of learning to their communities. Learn more in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers a unique learning experience for kids.
Co-founder Laura Coe told Small Business Trends, “Snapology is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) franchise that helps children build confidence through a variety of hands-on, interactive learning activities. We engage with children ages 1-14 using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and technology. While the kids are having fun with familiar toys, laptops, and iPads, we sneak in the educational concepts.”
Creating a fun experience for all.
Coe says, “With programs that go above and beyond STEAM learning, kids are gaining every opportunity to learn the skills and lessons they need to be great, which is a big reason why we are truly unique. We are building the next generation of STEAM professionals through providing fun, academic programs that increase social development through critical thinking, teamwork and problem solving.
“For franchisees, we give them a one-of-a-kind ownership opportunity that is simple, fun, and the chance of a lifetime to make a difference in the lives of kids. Over the next five years, our growth goals are to increase to over 600 locations, with a large part of that coming through the expansion of our brick-and-mortar Discovery Centers, which are full-service retail locations.”
How the Business Got Started
To create opportunities for their own children.
Coe adds, “I co-founded Snapology with my sister, Lisa. We decided to start a business after seeing the love our children had for creative play using LEGOs, building blocks and other toys that snap together. When I was struggling to find activities for my boys, who were not interested in sports, I began researching programs for my kids at the same time I was seeking new business opportunities.
“I realized there was a great opportunity to create social, academic programs for kids. So I pitched the idea to Lisa and together we came up with the concept of offering enrichment classes and camps to teach science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, and literacy concepts using LEGO bricks, Knex and technology. I am a mathematician by trade. Before Snapology, I owned two different franchises that helped me to learn what to do and what not to do when it came to establishing our franchisee support system.”
Joining unleashed brands.
Coe explains, “While it was a huge unknown since we were the first new brand in the portfolio, it was worth the risk. As a part of Unleashed, we now have access to systems, resources and know-how that would have taken us years to build. We are proud to be part of the Unleashed portfolio working with the phenomenal leaders of our sister brands; Urban Air, The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts, Class 101 and XP League.”
Jumping into something brand new.
Coe says, “When I started Snapology, I was putting my steady career and comfortable life on the line because I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. While some encouraged me, there were others in my inner circle who did not support this decision. Snapology was an entirely new idea, something that had not been proven and I took a big risk and dove in headfirst. It wasn’t easy and it was scary, but anything that’s scary is worth doing. Success doesn’t just fall into your lap. I took a big risk, and it paid off.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Helping others and growing the brand.
Coe says, “Altruistically, if I had $100,000 that was a gift, I’d use it to provide Snapology programs for underprivileged and under-served children to experience STEAM education. From a business perspective, I’d spend it on marketing. You can never spend too much in that area.”
Coe explains, “Our gator mascot is named Sebastian after my oldest son.”
Ghosts may be looking to franchise with Snapology.
Coe adds, “The Snapology headquarters location in Pittsburgh is haunted – but don’t worry, the ghost seems to be friendly.”
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Image: Snapology, Laura and Lisa Coe