Moneythink, a financial literacy nonprofit organization founded at the University of Chicago by undergraduate students, relocated its headquarters on January 15 from downtown Chicago to the Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE) on 53rd Street.
The organization began seven years ago as an RSO at the University dedicated to increasing financial literacy among students in local high schools. Moneythink gained momentum as campus communities across the United States formed their own Moneythink chapters. There are now 30 universities with Moneythink programs. In 2012, the organization was named a Campus Champion of Change, an award for innovative people who bring positive change to their communities in the White House Campus Challenge.
“Moneythink aims to make financial capability a social norm for young adults in the U.S. We believe every young person should enter adulthood with bulletproof financial habits and we develop tools and programs to make that vision a reality,” Ted Gonder, CEO of Moneythink, said.
Moneythink has experienced tremendous growth and anticipates further success.
“We have grown a lot in the past few years and needed more space for our thriving team. We started at UChicago seven years ago, moved downtown, now it is time to come home. The CIE is closer to the communities we serve than, say, a downtown office. And we are also tremendously inspired by the other companies in the CIE,” Gonder said.
The location change will enable the company to strengthen its ties with the South Side and accelerate its growth by being a part of the CIE’s business incubator program.
“Moving to the CIE allows Moneythink to not only gain access to all of the resources and mentorship that the CIE offers, but it is a way for them to stay connected to the University of Chicago, where they originally started their idea,” CIE Executive Director John Flavin said. “They also felt strongly about being physically located in a place that was closer to the communities they aim to serve. Being located on the South Side of Chicago, the CIE allows Moneythink to do that.”
The CIE is the University’s center for students, faculty members, and community members who seek to build start-up businesses and create innovative products. The CIE reduces barriers to entrepreneurship by offering working space, resources, and mentorship. According to Flavin, the CIE is trying to become a global destination for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Moneythink, with the support of the CIE, is looking to make a greater impact.
“We are very focused on figuring out how to measure and track changes in student financial behavior through technology. Beyond running the best programs we can possibly run, our priority for the next few years is tracking and deepening the impact our programs actually have on our students,” Gonder said.