CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — A Carlisle man is launching a new business that aims to innovate the trucking industry in the digital space.

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Dominic Ortiz II, 27, graduated from Carlisle High School in 2012 and worked several jobs in the brokerage field over multiple years. He got his foot in the door to the industry while interning with a company in 2014. He appreciated the experience these jobs brought him, but he knew he wouldn’t be satisfied working for a company, and he decided he’d rather start one himself.

Months go by, and ideas started brewing. “With the pandemic hitting, everything went digital. I figured that the industry would become more technologically advanced as time went on, so I decided to take a step ahead and launch a new company,” Ortiz said.

That’s when the groundwork for Conn3ct began. A new company that would look to revolutionize the transportation industry and empower drivers at the same time. It all started with some sketches in his notebook. Hours and hours of research later, he started to bring the idea into reality. “I knew I had to network to find the right partners for this endeavor, so that’s exactly what I did,” Ortiz said. “I was reluctant at first, but I knew I had to get comfortable with disclosing my ideas to other people in order to find partners.”

It didn’t take long to find the people he still works with to this day. He tried to develop his ideas on his own with a development team, but after some advice, he realized that isn’t the path he should take. He met with two business partners that would eventually become a part of his team.

One of the partners already ran a trucking company on his own, so bringing an already-established freight network helped jumpstart the process, which would create opportunities for those drivers who are owner-operators, meaning they own their own vehicle to carry freight. That’s just one of the many ways that Ortiz believes he can give back to the community.

Community give-back is one of the top priorities he holds for the company. “I’ve always imagined being in a position to have lasting effects on my family and community,” Ortiz said. Scholarships are on the books as well. “I want to help provide opportunities to the kids who don’t have the means to get to the next level so they can advance their education and expand their skill set.”

The story sounds like it came easy to everyone, but there were obstacles that Ortiz had to overcome to get to this point. “The biggest thing I had to deal with was when I realized that the original business model that I thought we could utilize actually wouldn’t work at all,” he said. “We [the team] had to go back to the drawing board to realize a new way that we could become successful.” Finding people who could give advice was also difficult, being that this was a new space, and he didn’t have an example to work from.

The groundwork has all been laid, and the team is now looking towards the future. Ortiz is looking to become that entrepreneurial example he didn’t have when he started, which will allow other people the opportunity to live out their ideas and advance in new industries just as he did for the last year and a half. When asked about advice he had for others looking to pursue the same opportunities, he said “business and life are the ultimate sports. Just like in sports, you need to prepare and execute. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

The company is currently scaling its carrier base as its first priority. They’re looking for any owner-operator drivers who operate shipping vans or cargo vans to join their network. Expansion into tractor-trailers is on the books soon after. Conn3ct hopes to create jobs around the country as they scale up, and hopes to attract more people to the transportation industry by educating them and showing them the opportunities that are available.