Friday, August 8, 2008

Startup Predictor Tool - YouNoodle

Saw this on a recent edition of the New England Tech Wire publication:

YouNoodle, the developer of an online platform for the entrepreneurial community, said on Thursday that it has launched its new "Startup Predictor" tool, which the company said analyzes data on early-stage startups and generates a scientific prediction of their future outcomes. The first version of the tool is now available as a free, web-based service. It allows users to enter information -- such as details about key employees or advisors, relationships between team members, products, patentable technology and capital invested by the founders -- through an online test. The tool then generates an estimate of the company's valuation in three years, as well as a "YouNoodle Score" -- a number similar to a credit rating, based on a 1,000-point scale, that gauges the "feasibility and promise" of the company's future. YouNoodle then matches users with other members that could be of value, such as potential employees, advisors and business partners.

Interesting tool. I thought I'd try it on a startup where a friend of mine works. Several steps in, I realized I was floundering. The level of questions was curious. For example, I had to know how long the founders had known each other, professionally and socially (I guessed). I had to know how many years of experience the founders had in the business. And I also had to know a lot about much, when, what the intial goals were and so forth. I started guessing, just to see if I could get through the questionnaire.

I came to a grinding halt when the application asked me for email addresses. Heck, I don't even know the founders and here's this application asking me for their email address?? It was totally unclear how this information would be used. The note on the page said that the address would not be used without my permission...but how did I know that was the truth? So, I stopped at that point. Too bad, I would have liked to have seen the prediction for this company (which I personally think has great potential).

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