Aviatra Accelerators hosts new course for women-led startups

A local nonprofit business accelerator is offering a new digital program this winter devoted to empowering women entrepreneurs.

Aviatra Accelerators’ “From Daydream to Launch” is a six-week online course designed to guide budding business owners through a proven roadmap for turning their novel idea into a successful startup.

Enrollment is underway. The fee is $175 per participant, which includes access to course materials for a full year. The inaugural cohort begins in late January.

Jill Morenz

“Aviatra’s ‘From Daydream to Launch’ program is perfect for women who feel unfulfilled in their current work situations, dream of charting their own destinies or find themselves at a crossroads with existing businesses that lack excitement or financial fulfillment,” said Jill Morenz, the organization’s president and CEO.

Decade of supporting women-led business

Now in its 14th year, Aviatra began as a way to assist women-owned businesses at all stages of development, through education, coaching, mentoring and networking. Nearly 4,000 budding companies in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton, Ohio have taken part in the accelerator’s initiatives to date.

Aviatra’s work is important, Morenz said, because despite the impact of women and minority-owned businesses, challenges remain, especially when it comes to raising seed money.

Venture capital funding for female-founded or co-founded companies has been trending up in recent years. However, in 2022, companies founded solely by women won just 2.1% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups, according to PitchBook.

Historically, women have faced challenges when it comes to landing traditional small business loans as well.

An Aviatra Accelerator event

A big part of what Morenz’s team does is help entrepreneurs gain access to those sometimes-elusive dollars. Since its inception, Aviatra has helped its participants secure over $1 million in capital funding. Those initial investments have led to more than $15 million in follow-on financing.

“With over 15,000 jobs created and $1 billion in cumulative earned revenues, women entrepreneurs are driving innovation, fostering community development, and closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship,” Morenz said.

Year-round programs, opportunities available

Through “From Daydream to Launch,” participants will receive seven modules, one of which features stories and lessons from other female business owners. Each module includes a collection of reference materials. Participants will also have access to digital office hours with Morenz every week.

To further help those it serves, Aviatra offers a “Fuel Your Startup” program, focusing on enhancing the profitability and productivity of a business from Day 1.

Students take part in an Aviatra business class

Proceeds from “From Daydream to Launch” go toward advancing Aviatra’s mission. The organization hosts a variety of programming throughout the year, including workshops, networking events and training. An example of a free program is “Side Hustle without the Hustle: How to start a side business in 7 days.”

“Supporting women-owned businesses is not just about individual success; it’s a catalyst for economic growth and diversity,” Morenz said.

Aviatra Accelerators Daydream to Launch

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