Mathnasium: Education in Action


Feb 20, 2017


People in specific professions are often expected to do more than just clock in each day, and this is certainly true of teachers. With the future of our children and society in their hands, we rely on educators to prepare the business leaders of tomorrow. Successful education franchise Mathnasium is one example of going beyond the call of duty, and it's also a window into how to start a business off strong.


It started in Los Angeles

Larry Martinek, Mathnasium's Founder, began teaching in an L.A. inner city junior high school in 1974. Through his experience, he realized that too many children were leaving elementary school multiple grade levels behind in math, and those who did meet grade level were still lacking "number sense," which is the ability to see numbers in a broader perspective. Determined to help close the gaps in the traditional education system, Martinek started creating material to supplement his courses. However, it wasn't until the birth of his child, Nick, in 1980 that the founder realized he needed to take it further. By the age of four, Nick was already displaying a strong leaning toward logic and math, and by six, he was starting to form ideas about math beyond his age level. This left Martinek in the position of having to explain difficult math to a young child, and it also changed how he thought about education and his approach to it.


Obstacles and growth soon followed

Between 1988 to 1992, the demand on Martinek for his time and more materials grew, and it became evident that his approach to math education was something new and different. When area schools began to use his materials instead of traditional textbooks, the founder realized he was onto something, but he still could not get the school systems to make his materials a part of the typical curriculum. L.A. City Schools, for example, would not embrace Martinek's program despite his best efforts, so he began to consult independently and worked with private schools in West L.A. at first. As he gained recognition, he was able to work with other private schools and the Inglewood School District.


From an idea to igniting a business

In 2002, Martinek was referred to a friend of the president at a school he worked for. Three years prior, that same friend and a partner had sold a computer learning center franchise system, and they were looking for a math "guru" to anchor a new franchise devoted to teaching math. In October of 2002, Mathnasium officially opened a center in L.A., marking the first of what would amass to more than 700 locations across the country. Since its start, this math brand has had tremendous success with its model and has earned numerous accolades, such as being included in Entrepreneur Magazine's "Franchise 500" list.

Martinek attributes the success of the brand and the children and families it serves to the commitment and passion of its franchisees. The founder also noted that it fills an important need because children who struggle with math often experience low self-esteem and a negative self-image as result. Once a child who believes success at math is beyond reach achieves the impossible thanks to the brand's services, he or she is, according to Martinek, "reborn."

To learn more about the Mathnasium opportunity, visit their listing at today.