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How This Platform Makes Raising Money Easier for All Involved Friends-and-family fundraising made official -- and far less awkward.

By Michelle Goodman

This story appears in the July 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Gabriela Hasbun
Help a brother out: TrustLeaf founders Daniel Lieser (left) and Anson Liang.

Joe Meisch had already invested tens of thousands of dollars in the temple massager he developed to relieve tension headaches. But last November he needed a few thousand more to finish updating the product based on feedback from beta users.

He'd already tapped friends and family while building his original prototype several years back, so he figured that well had run dry. This time Meisch turned to TrustLeaf, a new platform that formalizes friends-and-family fundraising by offering free personal loan agreements using attorney-prepared templates.

The Meisch clan was impressed. Joe's sister, brother-in-law and a family friend invested $2,500 in all. Now the former U.S. Army reservist, who until this year had donated his massagers to combat veterans, is gearing up to sell online to the public for the first time.

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