Newport-based company Aviatra has won the acceleration competition


Newport-based company Aviatra has won the acceleration competition

Northern Kentucky University’s Griffin Hall auditorium was packed with enthusiastic members of the community on Wednesday, eagerly waiting to see and hear the business pitches of three up-and-coming female entrepreneurs.

After the presentation, Tiki Boo Treats, a Newport-based allergen-free treat maker, won the Aviatra Accelerator Flight Night pitch competition.

Aviatra is a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator focused on helping women-owned startups and small businesses.

The grand prize awarded to Tickety Boo was $5,000 from Alloy Development and $3,000 in public relations and social media support from Scooter Media.

The entrepreneurs recently completed the Aviatra Introductory Course, a 10-week program that trains new business owners to create a business plan with three-year financial projections, work with a committed mentor, and participate at networking and coaching events. Pictured L-R: Abbi Rettig, Molly Hoying, Helen On and WCPO anchor Julie O’Neill. Photo by Kenton Hornbeck.

Boo Treats Tickets

Allergen-free treat maker Abby Rettig was founded in October 2020 with a wholesale account. Today, the company is large enough to operate its own manufacturing facility in Newport.

Two products are made by Tikki Boo: Cheesecake and Cheesecake Crust. The cheesecakes are available in three sizes: individual, six inch and nine inch and in nine different flavors.

All Ticket Boo products are gluten-free, vegan and plant-based. Currently, Tiktee Boo products can be found in cafes, restaurants, and local grocery stores across all three states. Tickety Boo was recently launched at Fresh Thyme Market and is also available on and

Rettig was inspired to start his business after attending a child’s birthday party. She has seen children being denied food provided due to dietary restrictions.

“At that point, I knew changes had to be made and I knew there had to be more options that could be standardized,” Rettig said.

Rettig himself suffers from celiac disease and understands the dietary challenges that people with allergies and eating disorders face on a daily basis.

“It’s hard to find nutritious and delicious products,” Rettig said. “I’ve learned through my health issues that it’s hard to find whole, nutritious and delicious foods. But they also healed my body.

Tickety Boo is a British slang term meaning “It’s All Right”. Rettig and her husband had previously lived in the north of England for around two years. While living in England, Rettig said the phrase was used every day in casual conversation.

As Rettig and her husband got used to living in England, she learned to accept the phrase.

Rettig’s long-term goal is to have Tiki Boo in pantries and freezers nationally and potentially globally.

Network of nail salons

Second place went to Helen On and Julie Rowland who work together on their business The Nail Salon Network.

An is a resident of Vietnam. According to On, about 80% of all nail salons in the United States are run by Vietnamese Americans or people of Vietnamese descent.

It is said that there is a language barrier which can sometimes hamper the relationship between Vietnamese nail technicians and their American clients.

“Most Vietnamese, when they come to the United States, find it difficult to find a job because of the language barrier. They can’t do anything, so with the nail business, we can help each other,” On said.

He wanted to create an app that helps nail technicians and merchants find quality solutions to solve this problem.

Its application is called Nailvigation, which operates a user interface in English and Vietnamese. That said, the app is currently in beta testing across the country.

“Clients can read their information, book an appointment, and choose the service they want, all while being able to choose the nail polish color they want at that time,” Rowland said.

It wasn’t an easy task for On, who at one point said the app’s code was completely lost. We were able to regroup and form a new team, following our objectives until the finish line.

There are plans to add payroll and payment processing to the app in the future. The app also has a forum aspect, which can help bring the On Hopes nail community together.

Vale Technologies

Vale Technologies is ranked third.

Vale was founded by Molly Hoying and Dr. Jingzhi Wu. Hoying has an engineering background and holds an MBA.

Val is a company that manufactures carbon dioxide-capturing electrolyzers, a device that converts the energy of a chemical reaction directly into two by-products. Ethylene and oxygen are produced by consuming carbon dioxide and water.

Ethylene can be sold and is used to make materials such as manufactured plastics and antifreeze.

Hoing partnered with Wu and the University of Cincinnati, who also has an engineering background.

“In case you didn’t know, every 10 seconds, 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air,” Hoying said. “Vale Technologies is the solution to this problem.”

Hoying identifies large carbon dioxide emitters, such as oil and chemical companies, as the target audience for their products. Hoying said Veal conducted informal interviews with more than 125 carbon-emitting companies.

Going forward, Hoying developed a four-part business plan that included: further prototype market research, research and deployment, prototype improvement, and pilot project implementation. .

“It’s part of my mission and helping kids as much as possible to build a better future, and overall that’s something I’m passionate about,” Hoying said.

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