Three Coins

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Three Coins: CURE Runners - Run for your life

Vienna, AustriaAustria
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our mission: Pioneering an educational model for financial literacy. How? Via creating engaging hands-on learning tools based on research that train the youth’s financial skills, focus on digital media/gamification, developed on eye level WITH the users, without an obviously educational approach.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

...young people become financially literate - e.g. by playing adventurous serious games - which enables them to grow up more independent, self-e
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Many educational, financial or political systems in Europe do not provide the youth with competences for a self-determined, free life. They fail to address individual money management – a core-competence as reading and writing – properly. But money is highly emotional (status, consumer pressure, etc.) and dealing with it responsibly is key to a life without poverty. Sadly but true: the average Austrian under-25-year-old is indebted with € 6,000.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Learning about money isn't about numbers, interest rates or only for classrooms. CURE Runners is our 1st digital tool (app) to reach 12-20-years-old BEFORE they internalize negative spending patterns. The game’s mechanics integrate principles of smart money management, while the concept of money is being avoided in theme and the adventurous story. Gamification/serious games are one solution – combining engagement, trial/error, emotions/crafts with freetime/friends/fun. Games are proven learning tools but we need more to be effective: workshop-packages for educative settings (e.g. schools) to reflect financial literacy properly AND a 2nd app (budget-tracker) that helps the youth to integrate smart money management playfully in daily life.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

CURE Runners intends to reach young people BEFORE they start to internalize spending patterns that can lead into debt traps. Throughout the game, the player comes to understand and practice how to make smart choices and decisions under pressure, balance status elements, detect debt traps, and reach saving goals. The game was developed with the awareness that to reach our target group we need to deliver an engaging game rather than an obvious educational tool. Hence, we focused on gameplay and fun as much as on the learning aspects. Finally, it has been released as a casual game in the Austrian app stores without any communication of the educational aspect. Only in a 2nd step, it will be integrated into contexts to reflect key learnings.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Educational practices change: a technological revolution is on the way. We focus on digital tools because young people's life as well as money transactions become digital. Smartphones are the digital future and an impressive amount of young people play mobile games every day. Gamification (mobile apps, interactive social-media-based platforms) is a very welcomed complement in educational methods – in schools, youth-institutions and home. We developed our 1st mobile app as a serious (educational) game. Its learning aspects are based on an impact logic set up by our think tank. Consolidated, anonymised gameplay-data feeds our impact measurement tool that enables to track gamers’ skills and improvements in smart money management. That in turn enables us to create new, proper tools/services to train financial literacy easily. On day 11 after launch more than 11,000 youth play the game!!

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The game is center-piece of our larger educational intervention. Knowing that context is key to produce lasting educational effects, we currently develop 2 tools that translate the game's learnings into reality. 1) An interactive workshop format. 2) A follow-up app (a budget tracker) that looks and functions similarly to the CURE tracker but manages money in real life. We plan to internationalise the game asap (CH, DE, US, UK. the Western Balkans). Our model and mechanics can be replicated easily, e.g. for youth related issues as healthy nutrition, climate protection, migration, child rights.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Income is generated by licensing (1) pro-game-versions, challenges, marketing for partners (financial institution, etc.) and internationalisation of the game (price-tag), (2) workshop-formats, (3) downloads of budget-tracker (price-tag) as well as budget-tracker for partners, (4) workshops about financial literacy, (5) consulting institutions and companies in improving financial literacy products, (6) research (in-house think tank).

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our market analysis includes 55 financial literacy initiatives worldwide. Evaluation criteria: 1) is it an educational program training financial know how, 2) is it based on behavioural principals, 3) do they include online tools, 4) are they based on research and know how transfer (B2B consulting) and 5) do they apply social media. Out of all we really like MyBank (UK) and Money Think (US). But they miss e.g. social media – a relevant link to the youth. We meet all criteria via our 3-dimensional/repetitive learning-program that merges research, behavioural change, online tools and media.

Founding Story

2 years ago, our founders decided to apply for an Austrian award named “Ideas Against Poverty” and questioned themselves: What are the REAL causes for poverty? The answer: the majority of young people is not trained to deal with money properly and grows up internalizing negative spending patterns. Our market analysis made (sadly) clear: no research data regarding money management of our target group (12-20 years) available. And: People <30 are risk group No. 1 regarding indebtedness (the average 25-year-old Austrian is € 6,000 indebted). Our solution: shaping a new educational model for financial literacy – gamified, non-educational, on-eye-level and together with the youth. Why not e.g. via a mobile game? And btw: we won and founded ;)


We are run by us: 4 young women, full-time! The board consists of 4 people (3 in operations). Our expertise lies within organisational management, business development, sales, platform-building, stakeholder-relationship-management, research (social/behavioural sciences and experimental economy), project management, communication, social marketing and entertainment. When enlarging the team, we’ll onboard regional managers, sales and youth support.