Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Dr. Bell Founder and CEO at Stemtree Franchising, LLC

January 30, 2024 00:22:30
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Dr. Bell Founder and CEO at Stemtree Franchising, LLC
All Things Considered Franchising Podcast
Scotty Milas' All Things Considered Franchising Podcast w/ Dr. Bell Founder and CEO at Stemtree Franchising, LLC

Jan 30 2024 | 00:22:30


Show Notes

All Things Considered Franchising Podcast

In this episode of All Things Considered Franchising Podcast, Scotty Milas interviews Dr. Bell, the founder of Stemtree, a leading STEM education franchise.

Dr. Bell shares his journey from being a professor and franchisee to starting Stemtree in 2010.
He discusses the importance of STEM education and how Stemtree's curriculum sets them
apart from other players in the industry. As he explains to Scotty, "STEM activities have a direct
impact on the cognitive abilities of the kids in thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking."

Dr. Bell also talks about the evolving nature of STEM education and how Stemtree stays
updated with the latest advancements. Dr. Bell tells Scotty, "We have invested so much in
developing a very highly structured curriculum in STEM, not just a bunch of activities." The
episode concludes with a discussion on the type of franchisees Stemtree is looking for and the
impact they can make. Dr. Bell reiterates, "Anybody who wants to make a difference in their
communities, have kids, and have seen kids, how much fun they have in this space, it's an after-
school, it's not like a nine-to-five-time job."

Key Takeaways:
-Stemtree offers a highly structured curriculum in STEM education, covering science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics for students from kindergarten to high
-STEM activities have a direct impact on the cognitive abilities of children, including
thinking, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
-Stemtree differentiates itself by offering a curriculum that goes beyond just fun
activities, focusing on educational objectives and taking students beyond the basics.
-Stemtree stays updated with the latest advancements in STEM education to ensure their
franchisees and students remain competitive.

Scotty Milas can be reached at [email protected] and at (860)751-9126.
Dr. Bell can be reached at [email protected].

#allthingsconsideredfranchising #scottmilas #businessownership #franchiseopportunity
#stemtree #drbell #advancedcurriculum #cognitiveabilities #communityimpact #poweroffive

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of All Things considered franchising, powered by Scott I am your host, Scotty Milas, president and founder of All Things considered franchising. All things considered franchising is a podcast dedicated to the entrepreneur, helping people research and explore business ownership. We have probably close to 60 episodes up on our website and on various podcast channels. Check it out. All Things considered is also a consulting organization that was started about seven, eight years ago, helping people develop the roadmap and helping people investigate and validate franchise opportunities. The services, guidance, education we provide are absolutely at no cost to our clients. We are compensated by the brands that we represent. Over 700 in many different categories and many different investment levels. Well, I have to say that I am honored to have not only what I think is just a great story in franchising, but someone who I have developed, I think, a very good friendship with over the years, and that's the president, CEO, founder, chief bottle operator. You name it, he does it. And founder of Stemtree, Dr. Bell. Dr. Bell, welcome to the show. [00:01:34] Speaker B: Thank you, Scotty. Thank you for the. [00:01:37] Speaker A: Yeah, you know, you and I go back quite a ways. I think you and I actually met when I was with building a brand way back burgers, and you were in the early stages of getting stemtree an educational, STEM education concept going. I think we met at the New York, New Jersey show, franchising show, if I'm not mistaken. Virginia. Yeah. Virginia. Yeah, ifa. Yes, that is right. So you and I have kind of remained friends. We've talked regarding the industry. But your story with Stemtree, I think, is just one of those stories that everyone should know. It has a lot of motivation. It has a lot of emotion tied to it. But you started Stemtree after, I guess, a career in teaching. Correct. And kind of launched Stemtree in 2010, and here it is 14 years later. And I remember both of us talking about the sweat equity we're both putting into the opportunities we were working on. But you've hit a milestone. Stemtree is now becoming and will continue to be a leader in the STEM education in the franchising world. So tell us a little bit about you, your story, and then we'll get into the dynamics of Stemtree in a second after we learn a little bit more about you and what got you into franchising. [00:03:15] Speaker B: Wow. Again, thank you so much, Kari. It's a journey, my friend. Where can I start? I think I start by the love of STEM first, before anything else. And I remember when I was in college, unfortunately not when I was younger, like this generation, that's what triggers the love of stem in me. And I remember when I was doing my electrical engineering project, I was fascinated by the electronics, I was fascinated by the project they did back then. And I even remember took all the pieces back home. I tried to do something with it. There was no Internet, there was no reading, nothing. But something that basically has a huge impact in what I do today. You know what I mean? Long story short, been a professor, I was a CTo, I was a franchisee and all of the above, basically all the check marks in today. This is something we tell people when they want to buy a franchise, right? You tell them change of careers, right? Income. Those are still true for anybody. For a franchise or for franchisee, you know what I mean? I remember I had my own it consulting here in DC area for over ten years and I had a project that was really great. Then the project was kind of ending and I say, what do I need to do next, right? I need to change. You have family, you have kids, you got to keep feeding the families and give them the best you can. So I said, let's get into franchising. I was an IT consultant. They did a lot of that besides being a full time professor. So I went to this franchise expo in DC. Ife back then was in DC, not New York, right? So my brain was, I like subway. How about being a franchisee subway, right? It's good. A lot of people are liking it and it's healthy and back then, right, right. It was in 2000 and I believe eight, seven or something. So I was rolling around and I found this education franchise. I say, wow, you can have franchise in education. That's fantastic, right? That's great. You know what I mean? Long story short, I've become a franchisee for about ten years or so, but the idea of century was born even before thinking about franchising as something I want to give back to the community, as something I want to give to the kids at schools or, you know what I mean? At the same time I had the STEM tree and getting into franchising. Wait a second, I can do better. I think I have the qualification to create something unique. And as you know, vision starts even before 2010. We found a STEm tree back in 2010. [00:06:43] Speaker A: That's interesting. That's a great story. STEM education has been now kind of, but has become a normal conversation kind of around the dinner table. With family and kids, and especially with families. I shouldn't say especially, but there's always that conversation about STEM education, STEM activities for elementary, high school students, especially for students that fit outside of the sports world. Maybe not the person who's interested in putting on a baseball uniform or a football uniform, or it's the education. But STEM education has become more of a need than a want, especially with the conversation that's going around now in the US about education and what we need to compete in the market 10, 15, 20 years from now. You have a unique curriculum. It's a curriculum that you've developed, and I'm sure you've kind of tapped a lot of other people on their shoulders asking for assistance and guidance. Tell us a little bit about the importance of STEM education. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But tell us about how you look at the educational part of STEM a little differently than some of maybe the other concepts that are out there. [00:08:16] Speaker B: Well, as you said, stem. Now, when I started, people would come to stem and say, what Stem cell? You know what I mean? Science, technology, engineering, and math. There are a lot of research that have been conducted in this space. As a matter of fact, I wrote a small paper in a local journal here about the importance of STEM for kids. And the research has shown that STEM activities have a direct impact on the cognitive abilities of the kids in thinking, problem solving, critical thinking. So those are important, direct. As a matter of fact, if we take a. Robotics activities is nothing but a sequence of builds, you know what I mean? That the kids needs to follow to build that robot. And that's called sequencing. And sequencing is a very important concept for kids. And that's how most of the kids are tested at early age about their abilities to basically follow advanced programs. So this is something that we all know. Most of schools today, school districts, at least top ones, have stem in part of their weekly activities. Here in Virginia, where we are, Fairfax county public school system, do have 1 hour of STEM every week where the kids certain this is not becoming anymore an extracurricular activities, but everybody's trying to integrate that in the normal curriculum. You're right. What dictates, what differentiates? I think brands is basically a product. Right? [00:10:14] Speaker A: Right. [00:10:17] Speaker B: There are so many players in this space. When we started back 2010, there were very few. Today there are dozens of players. And I think there's an opportunity for everybody to make money. That's what I think. You know what I mean? But what we have done at century is we have invested so much in developing a very highly structured curriculum in STEM, not just a bunch of activities. We have developed lessons plan with objectives, with a vision where you want to take the kids beyond the wall factors, the fun. [00:11:03] Speaker A: Right? [00:11:04] Speaker B: What I tell people is we have a chance today as educators to seize these opportunities to educate kids because they need fun and to make sure they get something besides the fun. We have tried to do that in our community. Stem tree today. [00:11:21] Speaker A: Sorry, no, go on. [00:11:23] Speaker B: STEM tree today offers five STEM programs, literally five STEM programs today with the only franchise that can offer both tutoring as well as enrichment. [00:11:40] Speaker A: Tutoring and enrichment. Interesting. Two cops. [00:11:43] Speaker B: It's a big differentiating factors. STeM tube. We have a science curriculum. I don't know anybody who does a science curriculum, not just activities, but a full science coding with multiple programs for different grade levels. Robotics, electricity and electronics and math. We call it as century the power of five. [00:12:11] Speaker A: Power of five. Interesting. [00:12:13] Speaker B: And that I think differentiate us from industry. [00:12:17] Speaker A: So listening to your thought process on how STEM has involved STEM education, it isn't necessarily anymore a before school or after school project or place to go for kids. It isn't the parents kind of dropping the kids off anymore and saying, hey, keep my kids busy for a couple of hours while I go out shopping or go out on a date with my husband or wife or something like that. The idea that you're providing tutoring services as well as a solid curriculum in coding, mathematics and engineering and science and science is the big one here because you're right, science is kind of that sleeper in the category. Not a lot of people touch on it. So it's really not that before school or after school or birthday party, although there are probably aspects to that still there. Birthday party. Let's have a birthday party at it. But it's really taking a serious look at the education of children through early stages, early grades, up through high school. [00:13:32] Speaker B: And that's a differentiating factor about century. We care about education across all the grade levels and we put a commitment there that we want to also educate those kindergartners. So our curriculum, all the five, the power five curriculum I mentioned earlier have contents from kindergarten all the way to high school. [00:13:56] Speaker A: Interesting. [00:13:57] Speaker B: And I don't know that many other programs that would offer for kindergarten, programs for kindergartners. So we care. [00:14:08] Speaker A: It's interesting. Let me ask you this question, just kind of take a step to the right a little bit here. But you write your own curriculum, you manage your own curriculum. But we all know in today's fast paced world of technology information, things change. Ten years ago, if we looked at the Internet, it's totally different than what it is today and the power of information. How does an organization like you that prides itself on its curriculum, stay updated on the educational process and what to teach children? Because I think that's got to be an important part or a feature of stem tree as an organization and a potential franchisee, considering your brand, because it's a lot of things or a lot of information and technology and education to. [00:15:04] Speaker B: Stay up on 100%. Couldn't agree more. And I'll tell you something very kind of ironic, right? I tell people I got my bachelor's back in the 80s, if my brain is not wired to updates. I would not be talking to you today. I would not be doing what I'm doing today. I would not be that full time professor back then at the university teaching new programming languages, new technology, new software paradigms. So I think we're blessed at STEM Tree to have the team that has that mentality, that way of thinking that things changes things, evolves, you know what I mean? And you have to keep track. Two things, updating the curriculum, not just stay up to date with that, right. Has two important factors. If you want one, you got to keep your franchisees competing at a higher level, right. Very important. And then that translates of course to revenues and so on and so forth. They have to stay competitive within whatever they are. Number two, the kids today, most of the parents have done some programming with their kids, have the kids themselves. They may not have a curriculum that what we have, but they have access to these kits and tours. You don't want a kid coming in and say, wait a second, I have a better one at home than this one. [00:16:39] Speaker A: That's a good point. I would have to say, yeah, with the Internet and everything and researching, it's easier for people to stay ahead of what they're paying for, I guess, right? [00:16:51] Speaker B: Absolutely. So they would say, wait a second, what am I going to bring my child to pay? And then is you working with an outdated materials and I have something better. So this is like a core element to what we do, what we believed in here as century. I'll tell you. For example, our robotics program has gone through. Maybe this is the third generation. [00:17:15] Speaker A: Interesting. You got to stay on top of it. [00:17:18] Speaker B: One thing, for example, when we use robotic kits and then we will have preordered the kit before even it's released to the market. To tell you that we're not just catching up, but we prepare ahead of time. And not only that, we learn from the kids. You learn from franchise, you learn from the whole system to improve, right? [00:17:44] Speaker A: Yeah. One of the things that I've always admired about you as a person is your transparency and what you believe in and sticking to your processes and what you want to build. It's a high five to you, a big pat on the back. I mean, you have over 30 units awarded, franchises awarded. Now you're creeping up to 20 opened. But one of the things that has always impressed me about your approach to this is that I'm not in a hurry to grow fast. This is a very important step in children's lives and we just can't make mistakes along the way where somebody may be influenced the wrong way educationally. So with that being said, talk to me a little bit as we move along here, talk to me a little bit briefly about the type of franchisee that you're looking for. Obviously someone who's passionate about education, preferably stem. But what else are you looking for in your potential franchisees? [00:18:53] Speaker B: It's always like an open ended question, right? Who you're looking for. I tell people one thing, that if I had a home service business, I know who I'm looking for, right? I can tell you the type of people who might be interested in this kind of franchises in education. One of the things I share with all the people I have talked to is that we are all in this business. [00:19:24] Speaker A: Interesting. [00:19:25] Speaker B: You're a parent, you have kids. If you don't have kids, you have nephews, nieces. You yourself have gone through this educational system. So this is not a strange space for you. We all have some kind of experience in this business, right? So everybody is a potential. Everybody is a prospect right? Now, of course not everybody wants to do with kids or they don't want to, you know, I mean they may choose to do something else, but anybody who wants to make a difference in their communities have kids and have seen kids, how much fun they have in this space, right? It's an after school, it's not like a nine to five time job. People who are not necessarily teachers or it, we have different span of different prospect people who are in education, people who may not be in education but they want to give back. They want to do something fun themselves. Interesting. Probably a good experience would have seen their kids have fun when they took them to an after school program or to camp. And I think those are potential prospects. But I'm not never going to tell you that I need a teacher or I need this or I need, I. [00:20:46] Speaker A: Mean, I think it's an opportunity that within the first two or three meetings or conversations, you're going to know if it's a fit for each of you. We've been talking to Dr. Bell, president and founder of Stemtree. Just someone that I've had the utmost respect for, watching his brand grow. I'm your host, Scotty Milas, of all things considered, franchising. Dr. Bell, believe it or not, we're out of time. And I hope at some point within the next few months, we can get you back on and have an update. Because it's a unique brand, it's a unique opportunity, and it's one thing to be in business and own a business, but it's also another thing to be able to own a business and be able to give back and help out with the future of the young generation, our children. So I want to thank you for being on board. [00:21:43] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:21:44] Speaker A: If anybody wants some more information on Stemtree, all you need to do is go to the Stemtree website, That's Reach out to me directly. Again, Dr. Bell, we thank you very much. I'm your host, Scotty Milas. All things considered, franchising. You can visit all of our episodes on or go to the website if there's an interest in exploring opportunities such as Stemtree. Until next time, this is Scotty Milas saying so long. And again, Dr. Bell, thank you for being a guest on our show. [00:22:20] Speaker B: Thank you, Scotty, for the invitation. We appreciate it.

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