Cedar Rapids Start-Up Sergeant Sender™ Facilitates Easier Gifting to Active Military

Local college students develop online portal to simplify sending military care packages

Cedar Rapids, Iowa December 2, 2016–Sergeant Sender, a startup company based in Cedar Rapids, is an online portal designed to help customers easily select and send care packages to US service members who are deployed or live overseas. The new company was founded by Coe College students Patricia Ochs (‘16), Caitlin McKendry (‘17), and Hayley Carmont.

The idea was developed in Jay Chen’s Entrepreneurship class in September. From Ochs’ personal experience of being in the military, she considered the loneliness and isolation the nation’s military often face. According to USAToday.com, the Pentagon reported that 265 active-duty service members killed themselves in 2015, continuing a trend of unusually high suicide rates that have plagued the U.S. military for at least seven years.

“I remember being in boot camp and being homesick. I wanted to go home and that wasn’t an option. My family sent me letters, cards, and photos which reminded me they were thinking of me and were supporting me from many miles away,” Ochs said. At the same time, she said that family and friends at home struggle with what items are acceptable to send. With that, Sergeant Sender was born with the help of fellow students, McKendry and Carmont.

To date, the team has developed the initial website portal (www.sergeantsender.com) where customers can select or create care packages to send to deployed military. Visitors can shop for a specific service member or make a donation to an anonymous member by going on the website.

“I enjoyed my experience with Sergeant Sender because it gave me the opportunity to reach out and let my military nephew know that he was being thought of back home by receiving a special care package made especially for him. I found that it was easy and very convenient to be able to sit at my desk and order a variety of items for him, including Halloween candy! I really appreciated not having to go out shopping for the items, taking it home and packaging it up and then going to the post office to mail it, which would have taken me a day or two to accomplish,” Teresa Router, Sergeant Sender user.

Going forward, the team will continue to add to the package offerings on the site and also plan to involve veterans and non-profit organizations with fulfillment, shipping and potentially in creating more personal items such as tie blankets and messages for the packages.

The Sergeant Sender team will present their project turned business at the upcoming Demo Day at Coe on December 5th at 4:00 pm at Stuart Hall on the Coe campus. To reserve a seat at the free event, click here.

Testimonial

The support and guidance EDC provided Apache gave us a platform to more clearly flush out and define our strategy. We utilize The Recipe as our planning platform. EDC, in no small part, has been part of our growth and success!

Tom Pientok, Apache Inc.

Connect with EDC

  • Stay in touch

    Contact us

    Entrepreneurial Development Center
    230 2nd St. SE, Suite 212
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
    Phone: (319) 369-4955
    Fax: (319) 832-1481

    Events

  • 2017 Tax Reform Legislation for Global Businesses
  • Hills Bank Presents: Financial Management for the Closely Held Business
  • Blog Archive

  • Ten Things to Consider Before Signing Up to Exhibit at a Trade Show
  • Meet Me at the EXPO: Emily Carlson, WRITTEN Apparel
  • 2017 EXPO Exhibitor List Unveiled
  • Meet Us at the EXPO: Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
  • List of 2017 EXPO Presenters Announced
  • Meet Us at the EXPO: Belinda and Rick O’Brien, O’Brien’s Own Granola
  • Meet Me at the EXPO: Tom Lutz, Repour
  • Meet Me at the EXPO: Greg Edwards, WatchPoint Data
  • Top 10 Reasons to Attend EDC’s Annual Meeting April 13th
  • Budgeting for Success
  •