Cincinnati, Ohio—Oct. 22, 2020—Six female entrepreneurs from greater Cincinnati competed Oct. 22 evening in the Flight Night Pitch Competition.
Celeste Maksim took first place pitching her software platform, Maksimus Productions. Maksim was awarded the top prize: $5,000 and the title of 2020 Aviatra Flight Night Winner.
The online competition was hosted by Aviatra Accelerators, which held a watch party and awards presentation at CoHatch in Mason. More than 500 viewers watched the competition remotely and voted Bailey Bryant, pitching her business, Healthmatch360, as the Fan Favorite. Also watching were the participants’ mentors from SCORE Greater Cincinnati, who counseled them throughout the 12-week program. Maksim was counseled by SCORE Mentor Kelly Dehan and Bryant was counseled by SCORE Mentor Bob Leslie.
“Each year that we host Flight Night to celebrate and promote another cohort of female founders I am more and more impressed,” said Nancy Aichholz, CEO and president of Aviatra Accelerators. “This group in particular had great attitudes, terrific engagement and didn’t allow COVID restrictions to dampen their dreams for a second.”
The participants were:
Flight Night Winner ($5,000 prize)
Celeste Maksim, Maksimus
First Runners-Up ($1,000 prize)
Margo Moskin, SoMi LLc
Bailey Bryant, Health Match 360
Second Runners-Up ($500 prize)
Keri Kilroy, Donna’s Gourmet Cookies
Heather Couch, Couch Family BBQ, Catering and Desserts
Megan McClendon, One Sweet Box
As part of the celebration, Aviatra raised more than $8,500 for the Pat McKay Memorial Scholarship and presented awards to all participants. Before she passed away this year, McKay was a longtime mentor for local entrepreneurs. She was also the chapter president for SCORE.
“Pat McKay was very bright, well organized and cared deeply for the many people that she mentored,” said Kelly Dehan, SCORE mentor and acting liaison. “She gave practical and meaningful advice and consultation to all who requested her assistance. Along with being a wonderful leader for our SCORE chapter, she was a valued liaison between SCORE and its partner, AVIATRA. We miss her, she was a true legend and we still feel her spirit in our work.”
Aviatra Accelerators is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010. The organization enables women across Ohio to start and sustain businesses by giving them the resources they need to be successful. Through expertise in business basics, guidance from mentors and coaches, and access to capital, Aviatra continuously encourages members to move forward, and embraces them when they return, helping to refuel and reignite their passions.
SCORE Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana Chapter is a nonprofit organization with approximately 100 experienced volunteers who offer free mentoring in all aspects of business development and operations. The chapter offers low-cost educational seminars and maintains an extensive library of business briefs and online webinars. SCORE is the oldest and largest free business mentoring organization in the US with over 12,000 volunteers nationwide who are motivated to give back to their local communities through their support of small business.
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