A South Sound Venture Ecosystem

TVF collaborates with founders who generate inventive solutions, value community impact, and offer growth potential.

At Give InKind we believe that there is tremendous value when offering support during times of need. We know that while every situation of need is unique, no one is more or less deserving of meaningful help. Small actions can have a huge impact. Give In Kind was started with a notebook, a sea of flowers, and two grieving parents. After experiencing the unexpected stillbirth of their first child, Founder Laura Malcolm and her husband James saw how much work was created for their friends and families that wanted to be supportive from around the country. There were questions about where to order delivery meals from, what to send or say to a family experiencing baby loss, whether or not they were up for visitors or phone calls – and Laura knew there had to be a simpler way to coordinate all of the efforts from the loved ones that wanted to help. In Layla’s honor, Give InKind was born. We offer an easy to use platform that both coordinates and curates the best actions to support those you care about in their times of need.

Topia Technology is a Tacoma based technology start up which has developed a portfolio of highly secure solutions for moving and managing data.  Secrata is the most secure way to share files across the internet by providing a patented method of first shredding the file and then encrypting each shred with unique keys.    Another product, DataShyft, is a integration platform as a service that securely integrates data across cloud infrastructures and disparate systems. DataShyt also integrates with any blockchain of choice to harden data governance.   Topia works with commercial enterprises as well as programs within the DoD.   With an innovative female founder who is well integrated within the South Sound technology ecosystem, we feel this business has the potential to scale and deliver great value to its customers, local residents and investors.  

Northwest Farms is a technology focused vertical farm venture working to participate in the evolution of the food supply chain. Vertical farming generates fresh sustainably grown food, reliably year round. Most important, our produce is grown with no chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. NW Farms operates locally in Washington and is nearing completion of a second facility minutes away from Tacoma, WA.  As a local entrepreneur with a scalable business concept we value accelerating the growth of venture in the South Sound. At NWF, our mission is focused on improving the sustainable nature of our society.  We love the business and hope it will be supplying fresh greens throughout the sound shortly. On average, fresh food takes between 7-10 days to ship from field to store. NW Farms provides our local stores the ability to have fresh herbs and produce the day the product gets picked and packaged. As a result, our local communities are able readily access the finest sustainably grown nutritious herbs and produce.

The Evergreen nature of Tacoma’s thriving venture ecosystem.

In 1996 two friends captured the idea for an Internet Security company while at a routine game night. From an idea to a vision, the friends mapped out the plan on a paper napkin on a flight together…twenty years later Internet Identity sold for $45 MM and now employees over 100 tech experts in the heart of downtown Tacoma.

What started out as a vision to build a tech company that provided domain management services and security protection against cyber attacks quickly grew into a variety of innovations surrounding the trending internet explosion.

Internet Identity pioneered customized email forwarding and streamlined corporate domain management. Throughout the years IID identified and established critical methods surrounding threat discovery and mitigation. IID provided Cyber Security for multiple Fortune 500 companies, most of which still benefit from their innovations.

Rod and Lars did what all great entrepreneurs do: work vigilantly to scale their business and bring their ideas to life. Over the two decades that Internet Identity refined its expertise, they experienced the ebb and flow of both success and failures.  

Supported by family and friends, they pushed through the hard times with determination and celebrated the good times. Rod credits IID’s many successful products to, “Being willing to try different ways of doing stuff, look at all of the possibilities and keep working to grow organically.” 

Confident in their mission and ideas, the partnership was keenly focused on getting their products in the right hands of companies that could benefit from their expertise. As Lars said, “Ideas were easy. The hard part was about the process of developing products and services that people wanted to buy.” It was this ethos that made IID the leading phishing mitigation services to the largest companies in the country.

After years of continued hard work, Rod and Lars sought capital investment to grow their business and expand their services. Moved by both the innovation and ethos of Internet Identity, a Tacoma Venture Fund founder invested in IID’s growth strategies and emerging ideas. The team continued to expand by taking advantage of opportunities in their rapidly evolving industry.

In 2016, Infoblox acquired IID to combine threat intelligence expertise with its own contextual network data. Infoblox valued the culture of the company and decided to maintain its offices in Tacoma where it now employs over 100 technology experts.

The acquisition not only brought expert technology jobs to Tacoma, but raised the profile of Tacoma’s start-up ecosystem.

Entrepreneurs at their core, Rod and Lars now give back by contributing their energy and expertise to the PNW venture ecosystem. They support local start-ups and support Tacoma Venture Fund.

TVF wants to help 50 entrepreneurs with success stories just like this.

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