Aviatra Accelerators opens its doors at Dayton Arcade

Visitors gather at the Dayton office of Aviatra Accelerators June 15, 2021, on the second floor of The Hub at  the Arcade, 31 S. Main St., Dayton. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Visitors gather at the Dayton office of Aviatra Accelerators June 15, 2021, on the second floor of The Hub at the Arcade, 31 S. Main St., Dayton. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

Accelerator focused on women entrepreneurs opens in Arcade

Aviatra Accelerators, a non-profit organization focused on helping women entrepreneurs, celebrated its downtown Dayton office Tuesday.

The Covington, Ky.-based organization expanded to Dayton in March 2020, just as the pandemic sunk its claws into the economy.

The new office will focus on female entrepreneurs and joins outfits such as Launch Dayton, The Entrepreneurs Center, The Hub Small Business Development Center and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, among others, all downtown, many of them in or near the newly redeveloped Arcade.

In fact, the office joins the more than 900 small businesses who call downtown Dayton home, noted Sandy Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

“Dayton is a hotbed of entrepreneurship, and the Dayton Arcade is ground zero for the start-up business ecosystem”, said Nancy Aichholz, Aviatra president and chief executive. “The energy and collaborative opportunities that exist here position Aviatra ideally to help women entrepreneurs succeed.”

Friends cut the ribbon on the Dayton Arcade office of Aviatra Accelerators. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Friends cut the ribbon on the Dayton Arcade office of Aviatra Accelerators. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

As the pandemic took hold last year, the non-profit turned to virtual programming and workshops, with Pamela Cone, Aviatra’s market director, at the helm. It was a perilous time, but it was also a time for entrepreneurs to find out who they really are, supporters said.

Cone credits Robin Gentry McGee, founder and CEO of Wilmington’s Nutritional Medicinals LLC, as being a formative capital sponsor of Aviatra. Cone once worked for Gentry McGee, and her inaugural donation made Aviatra’s presence in Dayton possible, she said.

“She wanted to bring this resource to Dayton because she’s from Dayton,” Cone said Tuesday.

In ten years, Aviatra says it has helped more than 2,500 female entrepreneurs create 15,000 jobs.

Aviatra’s first in-person workshop will be with Jenny Dewberry, CEO of People-Power, scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. June 28 at the Arcade.

Aviatra is located on the second floor of The Hub at the Arcade, 31 S. Main St., Dayton.

For more information about the workshop or to register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/june-grow-workshop-up-a-notch-tickets-158055110089?aff=erelpanelorg