Kelly Wins PCC Business Pitch Competition

Following the 2024 PITTCCH Competition, PCC Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator Jared Taunton (left) poses for a group photo with the event's five finalists. From left to right, they are: Franklin Galberth, Zylah King, April Kelly, Abigail Hubbard and Jackson Lesniak.

WINTERVILLE—A panel of judges from the local business community heard five Pitt Community College students deliver their best business pitches Monday night before announcing April Kelly as the winner of the 2024 PITTCCH Competition.

Kelly, a 31-year-old mother of four, is double majoring in biotechnology and accounting/finance at Pitt. The $1,500 she received for finishing first is money the Greenville resident can invest into growing her company and the product she plans to introduce to the marketplace this fall.

While delivering her business pitch, Kelly said she had created a baby formula that slowly introduces babies to allergens, enabling them to build a tolerance to the irritants as they develop. The goal, she said, is to keep children healthy while helping them avoid debilitating allergies.

Jared Taunton, coordinator of PCC’s Entrepreneurship Program, helped organize the contest to encourage students to pursue their entrepreneurial interests, utilize their creativity, and follow their aspirations to venture out on their own. He said the competition’s opening round took place in March and resulted in Kelly, Franklin Galberth, Abigail Hubbard, Zylah King and Jackson Lesniak advancing to the finals.

By posting a top-three finish on Monday, Galberth, an entrepreneurship student living in Greenville, and King, a Winterville resident pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, were awarded $500 each to invest in their business plans.

Galberth will use the funding to further develop Classic Cleaning — a cleaning business he built three years ago on a foundation of faith, loyalty, integrity and relationships. His company grew by 80% in year two, 120% in year three, and by continually fostering business relationships with local entrepreneurs, citizens and businesses, 2024 is shaping up to be its best yet.

King’s business venture resulted from personal experience with dry skin and bouts of eczema. After struggling to find a product in stores to alleviate her condition, she found relief by creating her own lotions, soaps and other body products from natural ingredients. Her goal now is to produce and market the products to sell locally and grow her company.

Serving as PITTCH Competition judges were Rebecca Caveness from the Winterville Chamber of Commerce, David Horn from Greenville-ENC Alliance, the PCC Small Business Center’s Halle Nobles, and Southern Bank’s Addair Varner.