Tacoma-based tech startup Give InKind surpassed its wildest expectations as it closed its initial round of investments. Laura Malcolm, CEO of the coordinated care platform, recently completed the Ready Set Raise accelerator program through the Female Founders Alliance after six weeks of intensive pitch training, networking, and workshopping with other female business leaders, before presenting her refined pitch to a crowd of active investors
“I had set a goal to raise $500,000 at the start of this,” Malcolm said, explaining that even though she believed in her company’s investment potential, Seattle’s venture capital community felt a little unattainable. By the end of the program, the Gig Harbor resident was reassured in the capacity of Give InKind. “We had to extend our investment period, because the money just kept coming.”
She exceeded her goal by triple the amount — having raised $1.5 million.
“It still hasn’t really sunk in,” she admitted from her new office space in Tacoma’s Pioneer Collective.
Malcolm attributed her newfound funds to the equity-based accelerator that she participated in this fall. Ready Set Raise, now in its second year, has a goal of addressing the gender disparity that exists in venture capital: Although roughly 40 percent of businesses are owned by women, less than 3 percent of capital funds are invested in women-owned organizations.
The program is clearly doing what it set out to do, Malcolm said. “Nothing about my business changed. It was always that investable. Sure — I refined my pitch… But the biggest difference was access,” she said.
And with access came an increased ability to help people. Malcolm’s business, Give InKind, is an online platform that helps to support people faced with major life events. Whether it’s a new baby, sudden diagnosis, or any other circumstance requiring a little extra help, an individual can set up a Give InKind page to let others know what they need — grocery gift cards, dog walks, baby clothes, etc.
Malcolm and her husband, James Kocsis, came up with the idea after the tragic stillbirth of their first child. They realized how much work was created in simply trying to communicate their needs to those that wanted to support them. So, they built Give InKind to alleviate additional stress in stressful times.
“We have a really impactful story,” Malcolm said. “We help people, and it’s easy to see how universal it is. But we’re also incredibly numbers driven. It’s a very defendable business model.”
As for next steps, Malcolm intends to do some hiring. She has plans to stay in the South Sound and capture some of the talent that commutes north each day. Simply put, her plans are to “Grow.”
Read our previous coverage on Give InKind here.