The world’s most elaborate trading challenge

IMC Trading hosted a global trading challenge, based on real market data, to recruit the best of the best.



IMC is a leading global market maker known for deploying state-of-the-art algorithms, statistical techniques, and innovative low latency technologies to execute their investment strategies.

They require a constant influx of top tier talent. Specifically science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates from the very best universities around the world. They are in constant competition with direct competitors and attractive employers like NASA, Google, Apple and SpaceX.

Struggling with the old ‘Wolf of Wallstreet’ perception of trading. IMC wanted to showcase the importance of technology, strategy and creativity in today’s trading environment and show that work at IMC is actually friendly and fun.


We built a one of a kind financial market simulation game where players have to deploy trading strategies using their own algorithms. During the 10 day challenge, participants had to respond to market dynamics (based on real world data) by constantly adjusting their strategies and updating their Python algorithm.

STEM students enrolled alone or in teams. They were updated about market developments in daily videos and could participate in lively discussion boards on Discord and Reddit. Sharing strategies and getting support and tips from IMC employees. 



Research has shown that our audience responds well to complex, technically sophisticated challenges and have a strong, yet healthy appetite for risk and competition. Gamification is an effective way to connect with this audience (especially if it tests their intellectual capability).

Prosperity was deliberately built to be a high barrier, highly rewarding hands-on game. Using real market data and algorithms to play into market dynamics. Playing into all these positive triggers to change the perception of and drive consideration for a job in trading. 



Prosperity took over a year to build. We created a fictional financial market (based on real-world data) from scratch and transformed this into a tropical themed game to underline the creativity and playfulness of trading.

Upon entry, every participant got their own digital island in an infinite ocean. If you traded successfully, your island would grow. Every 24 hours the islands would reorganise and the biggest island would drift to the center, basically turning an infinite ocean of islands into a giant leaderboard.


Tropical TV

To stay informed about all the ins and outs of the game, each day we released an episode of ‘Tropical TV’. Our news anchor Cory Cockatoo reported live from the Archipelago to inform every competitor about the news assignments and challenges of that day. In total we created 11 episodes.


Promotion for participation starting 7 weeks in advance. A highly targeted campaign was launched to specifically engage STEM students at top universities, including YouTube, Reddit, LinkedIn and Meta ads. But also mailings, internal referals and outdoor advertising centered around AAU universities. The majority of our audience are avid games. So, e-sports Team Liquid  was asked to recruit their own Prosperity team to participate and fuel the buzz.



signed-up players

21 mins

avg. gameplay duration

20 times

avg. return by players


of players indicated a more positive view on trading


of participants consider a career in trading


high performing leads identified (and counting)

Discord quotes