Jeremy Barnhart is the cofounder, VP of Franchise Development and CFO at Apex Fun Run. Apex is the only fundraising franchise in the world and their mission is to help teachers as well as students and schools. Partnering with schools, the Apex Fun Run events raise money for equipment and other school needs. Besides the event itself, students can go through a two-week program to develop their character and leadership skills which leads them to a final run where they raise donations.
Apex Fun Run exists to replace or supplement the traditional method of fundraising – bake sales and chocolate box sales. This is a healthier and more effective way of raising funds for your local school! In 3 years Apex has grown from zero to 78 franchises in 21 states.
Jeremy’s background was in accounting and consulting in the mergers & acquisitions space. Tiring of corporate America and the constant work & travel, he realized to be a good Dad he needed to transition to something he loved and that could help him have a positive impact in the world.
Apex Founder Scott Donnell’s wife was a first grade teacher and had to buy supplies at the start of the school year out of her own pocket – a situation that is replicated in almost all schools across the country. Scott saw in 2011 that a new solution was needed so Scott founded Apex Fun Run. Through Jeremy’s wife being involved in the Parents & Teachers Organization in 2012 Jeremy had the idea to franchise the business after serving at local schools. Together Jeremy and Scott have turned Apex Fun Run into a national business. Congratulations guys!
Jeremy warns us about the risks of business – the antidote to risk is to DIVERSIFY. He was heavily invested in real estate in 2007 and during the crash was almost wiped out! At any stage in your life it’s important to diversify your financial assets – there’s no such thing as a sure thing! Thanks for that hard-won insight Jeremy 🙂
If you haven’t already there’s two movies you should see – The Big Short (on Netflix) and Concussion (not on Netflix – where do you get movies that aren’t on Netflix… Blockbuster I guess? -M.)
Jeremy is excited about innovation. Starting with just the one product, Apex Fun Run, Apex franchisees now have access to 5 products to help raise funds for schools – from Elementary to Middle school and beyond.
With an Apex franchise there is the opportunity to step away from the day-to-day of the business by hiring athletes at age 18-29. They run the leadership programs and the franchisee becomes the manager of the team, giving the franchisee flexibility.
Jeremy looks to the International Franchising Association, the IFA, for industry information.
Jeremy’s number one piece of advice for new franchisees is to master your strongest skillset. Here’s the link to the DISC profile (the page looks average but scroll down to where it says ‘start your profile’) to understand where you can capitalize on your strengths and delegate areas you’re weak.
Thanks Jeremy for your time! To get in touch with Jeremy visit ApexFunRun.com/FranchiseeConnect