As the son of a competitive swimmer, Alex Tyler grew up near the water and has been swimming since before he could walk.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he began swimming competitively at the age of three and later went on to join Northwestern University’s swim team in college during which he competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic trials.

It was in college that Alex realized the opportunity to turn his love of the water and passion for swimming into a profitable career path that would enable him to make a positive impact in the lives of many.

In between swim practice and classes, Alex spent most of his senior year of college evaluating different business models and began working on a plan to open his own swim school.


While he had originally considered going out on his own, he ultimately made the decision to sign a franchise agreement with Goldfish Swim School, which at the time was an up and coming brand starting to make big waves in the learn-to-swim space.

“At the time, Goldfish was a pretty young brand,” Alex mentioned. “But the more I learned about the company, the more I wanted to become part of the family. After witnessing the company’s success and impact on the community after opening its first location in my hometown of Birmingham, MI in 2006, I decided to dive in.”

In 2013, Alex opened his first Goldfish Swim School in St. Charles, IL at the age of 23. By the time he opened his second location in Glen Ellyn, IL four years later, Goldfish Swim School could be found in nearly 50 communities across the United States.

Today, Goldfish Swim School is an award-winning franchise with more than 100 active locations across North America—an accomplishment that only 17% of franchise brands reach, with only 1% of franchises opening 100 locations in 10 years.

While Alex may be one of the youngest Goldfish Swim School owners, his commitment to upholding the brand’s mission of teaching children how to be safer in and around the water is an inspiration to all. Alex was recently recognized as a Franchise Rockstar by Franchise Business Review for his philanthropic efforts which include teaching children in Belize how to swim.


Looking back, Alex feels confident he made the right decision by choosing to go with Goldfish

“It’s always really cool to watch franchise brands evolve into household names, and Goldfish Swim School was certainly a pioneer in that way for the swim school industry,” said Alex. “As one of the first people to come aboard as a franchisee, I was able to experience that growth firsthand and I don’t feel like I would be where I am today if I had gone out on my own.”

In addition to riding the wave of Goldfish Swim School’s success as a household name and beloved brand, Alex points to the company’s years of experience and proven processes as one of the main reasons it has been able to scale so quickly and consistently replicate success in different markets.


Although Alex’s unique background as a competitive swimmer and years of experience teaching kids how to swim is what led him to turn his passion into a fulfilling career, most Goldfish Swim School owners don’t have a swim background. What they do have is a drive to succeed and a passion to pursue a fulfilling career that affords them the opportunity to make a positive impact.

Just ask the Flemings, who recently opened their swim school during the COVID-19 pandemic and set the standard for operating within the state of Arkansas.

As we continue to expand and aim to uphold our position as the industry leader in innovation, member experience and community goodwill, we’re looking for motivated individuals to join us in bringing the Golden Experience of Goldfish Swim School to even more communities across North America.

Having opened 111 swim schools to date, with many more in development, we know what it takes to build a thriving franchise and have developed a system for providing schools with the training, support and resources they need to get up and running, from site selection and construction to everything in between.

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the world of franchising or you’re looking to build your portfolio with a top-rated franchise brand, we invite you to learn more about the available markets in which Goldfish Swim School currently has opportunities and contact us with any questions you have about getting started.