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KiDream Promotes the Joy of Discovery for Kids

Entrepreneur’s corner | Sep 10, 2020

Since many children dream of becoming firefighters, doctors or astronauts, KiDream, using simulations and unforgettable fun experiences, lets them experience what it is really like to work in these professions.

As a child in Tunisia, Foued Sleimi was so fascinated by airplanes that he dreamed of becoming a pilot. However, he was never able to realize that dream. That's why he chose to study industrial design with a view to eventually designing aircraft, as a way for him to work in this world he found so captivating.

In the course of that career, he saw how simulation and immersion exercises allowed a person to enter a whole new universe and discover its many facets from the inside.

For example, the simple settling into a simulation cockpit gives us a whole new dimension on the job of pilot. You get to experience the space, interact with the on-board instruments, etc. 

Learning through play

This very special way of learning a trade inspired the entrepreneur to create the KiDream Educational Amusements Centre. Installed in the borough of Saint-Léonard since the end of last winter, this vast space covers 25,000 square feet. It is intended as a combination leisure/entertainment centre and a place for young people to discover various professions for their future.

Our mission is to provide kids with a fun experience and at the same time give them a learning experience that will inspire them to make a positive impact on society in the future.

Young visitors have enriching and stimulating experiences where they play the role of real professionals. A dozen different disciplines, trades and sectors are presented to them: aeronautics assembly, cosmology, construction, the world of hospitals, ecology, police, firefighters, piloting, robotics, etc. All the Centre’s programs are built around the principle of educating children through play.

“Our mission is to provide kids with a fun experience and at the same time give them a learning experience that will inspire them to make a positive impact on society in the future,” says Foued Sleimi. “The goal is to inspire them to become better citizens through a concrete, engaging, educational and, above all, fun experience.”

The concept behind KiDream is based on tools that initially entertain, but that also include educational aspects. They allow young participants to develop their self-confidence at their own pace. “We define ourselves as an emotional laboratory. In this way, we put imagination, creativity, oral expression and collaboration at the centre of the activities in order to stimulate the strengths and talents of our young visitors. We are inspired by the psychologist David Kolb, who wrote that learning is the process by which knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.”

Leave your tablet, have real experiences

For Foued Sleimi, when children discover professions, trades and disciplines at an early age, it leaves positive impacts on them for many years to come. “I'm passionate about what it's like to be a child. Their experiences stay with them for a very long time. By opening new horizons for young people, we help them in their eventual career choices. And in doing so, we are also helping to reduce the number of school dropouts, because we are trying to guide them towards a passion that will inspire them to keep learning.”

We have staged the professions in such a way that they are associated with the highlights that most make an impression on the participants.

Another goal of KiDream is to ensure that a child's world is not limited to what they discover on a computer screen or tablet. “Together with various teaching experts, psychologists and other specialists, we have staged the professions in such a way that they are associated with the highlights that most make an impression on the participants. From experience, I can testify that when kids go nuts when they get into a fire truck, it leaves a positive impression on them.”

Along with its educational mission, KiDream also leaves room for ecological awareness. There is a space where young people can learn all about sorting, recycling, shredding and other mechanisms. Similarly, they can also become aware of the disastrous impacts when products are thrown into waterways and learn about the current fragile state of the oceans due to pollution. Learning is everywhere here. Even the space set aside for playing on the trampoline allows young jumpers to learn what gravity is all about. 

Exportable concept

KiDream was created shortly before the start of the pandemic in March, and the crisis made getting off the ground very difficult for the company, which particularly targets schools and daycares. Despite the challenges, Foued Sleimi was still able to sign agreements with the Marguerite-Bourgeois and Marie-Victorin school boards, among others.

Mr. Sleimi says he is optimistic about the fall season and a possible return to normal. “We invested more than $1 million to implement our concept in a building that had nothing but four walls when we took it over. For six months, we worked 16 hours a day to make it a unique and special place. We have great confidence in our model and we think it will be exportable within a few years. After all, a bit like Walt Disney, we sell happiness at an affordable price.”

How PME MTL made the difference for KiDream

“The people at PME MTL took us in hand, both in terms of money and in terms of sharing expertise in a wide range of disciplines, from human resources to business development, from strategic implementation to finding financing. I talk to them almost every day and consider them like part of the family.”

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KiDream is supported by PME MTL Est-de-l'Île.

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