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Tacoma entrepreneur turns tragedy into opportunity to help others

Laura Malcolm created Give In Kind -- a free platform where people can offer help for others going through hard times or celebrating good news.
Credit: Laura Malcolm

SEATTLE — When Laura Malcolm lost her daughter Layla shortly before birth, she was overwhelmed with the number of people who wanted to help. But many people just didn't know how. 

While sitting in a room full of flowers, she came up with an idea: An online platform that lets people plan, request and send anything their loved ones might need as they celebrate good news or go through a hard time. 

Malcolm created Give In Kind, a free platform where people can help with child care, housecleaning, meals, or visitations. It almost works like a wedding registry, giving users hundreds of ways to contribute all in one place. 

Credit: Laura Malcolm

At the Female Founders Alliance's 2nd Annual Ready Set Raise on Thursday, Malcolm and seven other women pitched their business ideas in a room full of investors and journalists. It was the culmination of a 6 week program for female entrepreneurs, designed to help them build their businesses and their relationships with investors. 

The night ended with a surprise, when Venture Capital Firm Trilogy announced it would give $100,000 to help Give In Kind grow. Give in Kind currently has 14,000 registered users and roughly 30,000 people use the site each month.