What the Big Moment Looks Like
Entrepreneur US|January - February 2023
Want to be a franchisee? The last big step is often called "Discovery Day," where you decide to sign...or not! We followed four people on their big moment at Unleashed Brands.
By Emily Holmes

Let's say you find a brand you love. You do your research. You run the numbers. You and the franchisor make sure you're a good fit. And then, if you're still interested, it often all comes down to what's called Discovery Day. That's where you meet the executives, get hands-on experience with the brand, and finally decide whether you're ready to make the leap, and put pen to paper.

So, what's it like? We sent a photographer to capture one of the franchising world's most colorful Discovery Days-because it's hosted by Unleashed Brands, which owns a fun collection of companies for kids. Its portfolio features the attractions park Urban Air Adventure Park, the enrichment and physical development space The Little Gym, the hands-on learning program Snapology, the martial arts center Premier Martial Arts, the esports organization XP League, and the college-prep company Class 101.

Unleashed hosts Discovery Days every month; they're typically at its headquarters in Bedford, Texas, near Dallas. And at its November gathering, roughly 50 prospective franchisees arrived to test-drive their futures. They included novice franchisees as well as experienced ones who are already in the system but now plan to expand. Depending on the brand they're buying into, they went off to drive go-karts, play video games, hear from executives, and then plan their future.

On the following pages, four franchisees share their journeys leading up to Discovery Day, and what happened next.

Bill Lerner/ Las Vegas, Nevada

Investment banking is my life, but franchising is the dream. I did a lot of research, and Unleashed Brands was battle-tested.

I'm looking to create a generational opportunity; me and my business partner plan to start with one or two Urban Airs, then scale up so our families can participate should they choose. Discovery Day was intense. It was meticulously planned and choreographed to provide exposure to every aspect of the undertaking.

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