Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Business Jungle Gym: Scaling Up With Brands That Help Kids Learn, Play, and Grow (Michael Browning, Founder & CEO, Unleashed Brands)

By ICR | Podcast

At a time when parents are fighting a losing battle against screen-time for their kids, real world, active and educational experiences are a huge draw. Today’s guest is passionate about these  kinds of opportunities for kids, and has built an amazing business to fill that need.

We’re sitting down with Michael Browning, Founder and CEO of Unleashed Brands, a platform company that houses the world’s best franchise brands to help kids learn, play, and grow. Michael launched Unleashed Brands in 2011 after noticing a void in the market for parents looking for trusted resources for kids’ activities.

The company’s growing portfolio currently includes Urban Air and Venture Park, Snapology, The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts, XP League, and Class 101. In 2011, Michael launched Urban Air Adventure Park, the world’s preeminent family indoor adventure park, which has since served over 20 million kids annually and generated over half a billion dollars of system-wide revenue.

A young entrepreneur, Michael was named a rising star by the Dallas Business Journal in their annual 40 under 40 list in 2021. Having spent years as an entrepreneur, he leads the team with true insight into the challenges that new businesses face as he doggedly pushes the team to look for new ways to overcome obstacles and break down barriers to achieving success.


  • Michael on ideation and execution (3:20)
  • What the company does, their current scale and why they’re in their sweet spot (4:00)
  • Some of the brands in the portfolio, and how the business model works (6:07)
  • Why the business model is a competitive advantage, and how it’s been for the franchisees (8:47)
  • Being asset-light (10:29)
  • Their partnership with Seidler Equity Partners (12:03)
  • How they are using data to improve the company (13:53)
  • The decision-making process on what to include in the portfolio (16:00)
  • Who is the customer and why Unleashed Brands are recession-resistant (17:25)
  • What Michael is focused on for 2024 (20:03)
  • Michael discusses the team and his leadership style (21:14)
  • Michael tells us about how the Unleashed Brands Foundation is helping kids, and how his family has gotten involved (23:18)
  • The goals for the foundation in 2024 and later (27:43)


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If you have questions about the show, or have a topic in mind you’d like discussed in future episodes, email our producer,