Helping software help us: How one startup is making the most of APIs | #Amplify


After their experience surrounding the loss of their child three years ago, Laura Malcolm and her husband became aware that outside of simply sending money, coordinating help for people going through an unexpected time of need can be quite hard, especially when the parties are physically far apart. Some services are available, such as hiring house cleaners or child care providers, but none are tied together and valuable time must be spent locating and contracting each separately.

Identifying this need, Malcolm founded Give InKind, which co-locates a vast arrangement of goods and services that might be needed by the party in distress, on a platform designed to help the coordinator procure, manage and distribute them in a timely manner.

Laura Malcolm, founder of Give InKind, sat down with Jeff Frick (jefffrick), host of theCUBE*, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the Girls in Tech Amplify Women’s Pitch Night event at Galvanize in San Francisco, CA. The two discussed how Give InKind has streamlined services with software, and made easier the ability to help others during times of personal loss and need.

Marketing around a touchy subject

No one really likes to talk about planning for a tragic event before it occurs, yet this is a necessary step if things are to go smoothly when the time comes. To ensure people are aware of their services, Give InKind is focused on helping its company’s name and offerings become more widely known through brand awareness, via viral marketing. It uses a network of bloggers and influencers who share their posts out through various social media networks.

“We’re focused right now on brand awareness because … we are a timely service; people need to know about us the moment it happens so they can set up one of these calendars for someone else,” said Malcolm.

Additionally, Malcolm said the company is working with staff in various health-related organizations to make sure their name is known so that these individuals can point patients in need or their families toward the services Give InKind offers.

“What we’re focued on then is working with healthcare organizations, getting in with discharge coordinators, social workers, making sure they know about all the tools,” she added.

Utilizing an API economy

As pointed out earlier, many solutions to relieve some of the strain on people in need are already available, such as dog-walking services or grocery delivery. However, these are all single-case services, meaning they must all be found, contracted and implemented individually. In contrast, Give InKind uses an API economy, where all of these individual, unrelated solutions are pulled in and listed with the Give InKind network.

This strategy of listing small business and large corporation product offerings side-by-side in the same space is of great benefit to smaller companies because they appear on equal footing with corporations many times their size.

“There are options out there to set up meal calendars to give help, to send money, but all of these are really single-solution platforms,” said Malcolm. “So again, we’re trying to tie into all these on-demand services that make it so easy to say, ‘I’ll help you meet those needs.'”

*Disclosure: Girls in Tech and other companies sponsor some Girls in Tech – Amplify segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Girls in Tech nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Girls in Tech – Amplify Women’s Pitch Night 2016.

Photo by SiliconANGLE