By Heesun Lho (Founding Team Member & Project Manager, YouNoodle)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is back with the annual AWS Start-up Challenge! The competition, which began in 2007, rewards some of the the best ideas and startup companies with not just cash prizes but also with AWS credits and great opportunities to get noticed. A combined $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits goes to the grand prize winner!

This year, the AWS Start-up Challenge promises to be a much larger innovation campaign and has partnered with YouNoodle, a San Francisco-based startup company co-founded by Rebeca Hwang. YouNoodle’s competition platform, Podium, has helped power entrepreneurship campaigns for nearly 300 corporations, governments and universities; and therefore, it was an exciting endeavor to work on the AWS Start-up Challenge.

Podium makes it easy for competition organizers to customize their campaigns from designing the entry forms, managing participants, and assigning judges, to scoring entries and announcing the winner(s). Podium also improves the experience for the participants. By powering the AWS Start-up Challenge, YouNoodle’s Podium has helped Amazon scale their competition operations, as they reach out to ever more countries for the AWS Start-Up Challenge.

The AWS Start-up Challenge is currently live, and the submission deadline is on October 2, 2011. The contest now has a more extensive global outreach, and companies from around the world that are using the AWS cloud computing software are eligible to enter. With regional semi-finalists, participants have a better opportunity for recognition and prizes! Please visit the AWS Start-up Challenge website for more details about the competition and how to enter.

Good luck!

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Heesun Lho is currently a founding team member and Project Manager at YouNoodle. Working closely with product and large-scale campaigns, Heesun helps develop YouNoodle’s technology as well as implement and support entrepreneurship programs. Heesun received her M.A. in Education and B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, where she also served as Co-President of the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES).