Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Aviatra Accelerators


Aviatra not only address the challenges women face when it comes to business ownership, but we also recognize and maximize the exceptional strengths that are unique to the female entrepreneur.


CEO/President, Nancy Aichholz

Name of Accelerator: Aviatra Accelerators

Location: HQ – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Market in Northeast Ohio


CEO/President: Nancy Aichholz

This article is part of our Startup Accelerator Spotlight Series featuring accelerators from around the world. We hope these spotlights will assist the entrepreneur should they consider attending an accelerator program.

In two sentences or less, tell us about your accelerator and its objectives.

Aviatra Accelerators exists to empower female entrepreneurs; we enable women to start and sustain businesses by giving them the resources they need to be successful. Through our expertise in business basics, guidance from mentors and coaches, and access to capital, we continuously encourage our members to move forward, and we embrace them when they return, helping to refuel and reignite their passions.

Why is your accelerator program unique? Please describe the benefits of participation in your program.

AviatraAviatra Accelerators is unique because we concentrate on female entrepreneurs across all industries, and we offer a three-phased education program approach; Explore, Launch and Grow. Each phase focuses on the most critical education, best practices and guidance needed to support the business as it moves from idea stage, to launch to growth stage.

In each of our programs, we not only address the challenges women face when it comes to business ownership, but we also recognize and maximize the exceptional strengths that are unique to the female entrepreneur. Upon completion of any phase of our accelerator program, our women are invited to join our alumni network where they are connected to a valuable community of our female business owners that they can lean on for continued support.

What is the most difficult part of working with startups?

Competing for their time!

What do you enjoy the most; what do you find most appealing about working with entrepreneurial startups?

We enjoy getting to know the person behind the business and seeing their growth and victories along the way. We also love sharing the stories of our successful female-owned businesses – and we have so many!

5 Steps from Concept to Startup

Tell us about your success stories; which are the most interesting companies to have participated in your program?

  • AviatraWEL Enterprise 
    WEL has engineered the first, revolutionary Wastewater Reclamation System to handle wastewater from start to finish. They are the water evolution; they make water clean and now have the ability to give you an infinite supply.
  • Functional Formularies 
    Liquid Hope is the world’s first shelf stable organic whole food feeding tube formula and oral meal replacement. Robin Gentry McGee created Liquid Hope using the Functional Medicine/Food as Medicine model so each ingredient has been chosen for its potential to promote health and vitality and its ability to support the body’s natural immune system. When our bodies are given what they need… well let’s just say, food was our original medicine and Robin thought it was time to get back to our roots.
  • Belle Bridal Boutique & Belle Curvy Couture 
    Belle Bridal Boutique carries a beautiful array of bridal gowns in sizes 12-32W; they have the largest collection of Plus Size Samples in Ohio. As their shop grew, they got to know our bride’s wants and needs better. They also understood that if they wanted to be really unique and serve their curvy brides, they needed to design their own line of gowns to reflect the years of recommendations and requests from their customer base. Thus, they decided to design and manufacture their own line of beautiful, stylish, and affordable bridal gowns. Belle Curvy Couture was born.

    Key to Startup Success: Customer Discovery

  • Harness Cycle 
    Anne Harnett opened Harness Cycle in 2013. The cycling studio quickly grew a following and helped turn on Ohio City block into a neighborhood. Her latest venture, GroundSwell, will bring yoga, paddle boarding and healthy lifestyle programming to Cleveland. Her second cycling studio is slated for Spring 2017.
  • Pet Wants 
    Pet Wants exists to improve the nutrition, health, vitality and well-being of pets throughout North America. And they make it easy for pet parents to take care of and love their pets by providing them with the best nutrition and health possible by feeding them our delicious, all-natural and fresh pet food. And they offer free delivery right to the customer’s door with their auto-delivery program – just like clockwork. No more running out of food. No more heavy bags. It’s so convenient and easy!
  • Route Fifty Campers 
    They are the only vintage camper rental company in Cincinnati, Ohio and they take pride in our professionally refurbished, beautifully designed trailers, as well as their stellar customer service. They provide their stylin’ campers as accommodation for every occasion, from weddings to corporate events, parties to festivals, extra space at home for guests, and of course, Glamping. It’s their mission to provide you with an inspiring and relaxing outdoor experience.

What are the three most important factors startup entrepreneurs should consider when contemplating attending an accelerator?

  1. Fit – Is it the right fit for you and your business? Industry, specialty, network, etc.
  2. Timing – Is it the time in your business AND your personal life?
  3. Objective – Have a defined goal for what you want to get out of the accelerator. Make your goal the priority; verbalize and maximize that throughout the program.

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What else would you like to share?

We are very social and love to connect with new people! Follow us on social media (Instagram: @AviatraAccelerators / Twitter: @AviatraAccel / Facebook: and subscribe to our new newsletter on our website,

Are you familiar with other accelerators you believe should be spotlighted?  If so, we would like to hear from you.  Tell us about them, sharing your comments below!

Pam Goforth

Pam Goforth is Research Manager for FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to start, grow and fund a business.