When YouNoodle raised additional funding earlier this year, the company’s CEO Torsten Kolind told me the company was trying to build a data business on top of its startup competition platform. That approach, it seems, has led in a roundabout way to YouNoodle hosting a virtual demo day of its own, dubbed YouNoodle Live.
Here’s how you get from startup competitions to data and back again, as I understand it. The company was first known for a tool that could supposedly predict startup success, but in recent years it has focused on providing online software for finding and managing startup competitions. (Here at TechCrunch, we’ve used YouNoodle to manage submissions for the startup battlefield at Disrupt.) To build a bigger business on top of that, YouNoodle has been looking for ways to use the data from those competitions to connect larger corporations with startups.
So the first big piece of that data business is the YouNoodle 1K, a selection of the top 1,000 startups in the YouNoodle network. (The company says they’re chosen from the 28,000 startups participating in 400 competitions on YouNoodle in the past 12 months.) And bringing things back to the ostensible subject of this post, YouNoodle is showcasing half a dozen of the companies from the YouNoodle 1K in YouNoodle Live.
The company says the virtual format of the event gives startups from around the world (participants include companies based in Kenya, Spain, Chile, and elsewhere — none are from the United States) the opportunity to present to “a collection of VCs, innovation executives from Fortune 500 companies and technology luminaries/entrepreneurs that have global technology experience.”
YouNoodle Live is scheduled to kick off … now, and the demonstrations won’t be available to the public, but if the event is a success, it may be something to keep an eye out for in the future.
I found the idea intriguing, anyway, especially I’m still trying to wrap my head around YouNoodle’s plans. Earlier this month, Kolind told me that YouNoodle is going from being “mostly a technology company focused on just serving the folks that host the competitions” to an “interconnected data company,” and that YouNoodle Live is part of that shift.
When I wondered if this approach could create friction with the startup competitions that the company works with, especially now that YouNoodle is hosting a demo day of its own, Kolind said he’s been “pleasantly surprised” at the enthusiasm from the company’s competition partners: “They host a competition where they want to find, say, the top 10 startups in their particular market or industry, then we can help them with taking those top 10 startups outside their local ecosystems.”