Mad Science was looking for a mad scientist. In 2013, the brand, which runs educational science programs for kids, wanted to shake things up. The company needed a new leader, and it turned to Shafik Mina, who seemed like an unusual choice at the time: He’d spent the past four years as the company’s lawyer, and the only businesses he’d run were a catering company and a wholesale bakery back in the ’90s. But he believed he knew what Mad Science needed to stay relevant — and he was right.
Nearly a decade later, Mina is the president of two brands — Crayola Imagine Arts Academy and Mad Science—and the CEO of their parent company, 2inspire. Overseeing Mad Science’s 133 units and Crayola Imagine Arts Academy’s 24 units has been no small challenge. However, Mina says the market opportunity is there: Even with online learning and endless YouTube science videos, kids need a hands-on refuge to develop lifelong practical skills.