About YouNoodle

Growing global entrepreneurs through competitions

YouNoodle helps startup founders get advice, prizes, and opportunities from our network of startup competitions. Having run over 400 different contests and challenges, we try to learn more about our entrepreneurs and introduce them to opportunities unavailable to most. We connect entrepreneurs with advisors and investors, and we fast-track startups into accelerators and other programs.

You can use our technology, too

We work with universities, accelerators, corporations, as well as governments. Some use our judging platform to accept, screen and evaluate applicants for competitions or accelerators. Others tap into our global network of talent in order to do brand or technology engagement. We also help governments and corporations on implementing entrepreneurship programs. Clients include Stanford BASES, Amazon Web Services, Start-Up Chile, and the Intel Foundation. Contact us to find out how we can work together.

We’re a startup ourselves

YouNoodle was founded by Rebeca Hwang and Torsten Kolind in 2010, funded by an international group of business angels. The company was spun off an ambitious project started by Bob Goodson and Kirill Makharinsky in 2007 with support from Peter Thiel (Founders Fund), Max Levchin (PayPal) and Charles Lho (Amicus Group), our founding investor and Chairman of YouNoodle today. This project also spawned Quid (Goodson) and indirectly Ostrovok (Makharinsky). YouNoodle is run by a dedicated team of 10 different nationalities, all based in YouNoodle’s eclectic basement office in SOMA, San Francisco.

Meet the founders

Torsten Kolind, CEO

Former CEO of Venture Cup in Denmark, Torsten has built web products since he started his first company at age 16. Has judged competitions at Stanford, MIT and Imperial. Loves algorithmic challenges and is an avid musician.


Rebeca Hwang,

Co-founder of Clean Tech Open and Startup Malaysia, Rebeca is a true entrepreneur. Chemical and Environmental Engineer from MIT, and teaches technology entrepreneurship at Stanford. Korean/Argentine by culture.