A mentor introduced Ruth Agbaji, the founder of the fledgling franchise Code Wiz, to Tutor Doctor’s President Frank Milner last year, when COVID-19 shutdowns were sending parents and kids scrambling for safe and enriching activities.
The two struck up a partnership, in which Code Wiz sent students to Tutor Doctor and vice versa. “It was one of those things where all the stars just sort of aligned,” Agbaji recalls. “It was like, this makes a lot of sense. You should look into an acquisition.”
In March, Tutor Doctor and Clear Summit Group bought Code Wiz, and Agbaji and Milner are now strategizing on an expansion plan for the six-unit computer-coding franchise.
Milner is “super, super excited, in case you couldn’t tell,” about the 20-year-old brand’s first acquisition. Tutor Doctor has 350 franchisees who operate around 700 franchise territories in 15 countries, he says. Code Wiz has only six.
“I think back to the early days of Tutor Doctor when we were just getting started. So for me to have an opportunity to get back to the early stages, high-growth opportunity, it’s incredible exciting,” he said from his headquarters in Toronto. “I’m chomping at the bit.”
Agbaji launched Code Wiz in 2017. “It tied my love for coding and my desire for impact,” she said. “We help kids ages 7 to 17 unlock their inner geniuses through coding and robotics.”
Range of investment for a Code Wiz franchise is $60,000 to $80,000, about the same as Tutor Doctor. “Definitely the plan is to grow Code Wiz as a separate and distinct stand-alone brand, and we see huge market opportunity for that,” Milner said, adding details of their growth plan will be hashed out in ongoing strategic planning meetings.