Korkki Deemed 'Pitch Perfect' At Women's Leadership Conference

Recent university graduate and sustainable entrepreneur, Gabrielle Feenan has been announced as the winner of the 4K Pitch at this 2022 IoD Women’s Leadership Conference, securing £4,000 in funding for her business.

Gabrielle’s business, Korkki, aims to combat furniture waste by substituting harmful medium-density fibreboard (MDF) pieces for biodegradable cork alternatives.

Four female business leaders shortlisted for this year’s competition, with each delivering a pitch to delegates during the virtual conference event held to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The sold-out conference, sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills saw over 1,000 leading business figures from across Northern Ireland and further afield join together to celebrate female leadership.

Following her success, Gabrielle commented:

“I am so pleased to receive this funding which will give Korkki the resources and capability to bring our furniture designs to market and build on what we have achieved so far as a business.

“I’m very excited about the ideas we have for the future of Korkki and offering people the opportunity to make more sustainable choices.”

Gabrielle, who recently graduated from Ulster University with a degree in Product Design, developed Korkki as part of a final year project, creating functional furniture from cork and glass and offering a bespoke and stylish alternative to modern furniture.

Gordon Milligan, Chairman, IoD NI said:

“I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Gabrielle, winner of this year’s 4k Perfect Pitch competition.

“The 4k Pitch has become an integral element of the Women’s Leadership Conference and it was wonderful to hear from representatives of some of the Northern Ireland’s most promising fledgling businesses.”

“It was also great to join with so many inspirational leaders to gain new insights and perspectives as to how best to implement best practice and encourage positive growth within our own organisations.”

Other 4k Perfect Pitch competition finalists included Jo Warner (EQuinox Rising), Sinead Welsh (Informed Minds App) and Tina Calder (Merlin Arts CIC).

The 2022 conference theme took inspiration from the Eleanor Roosevelt quote “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and heard from a variety of outstanding speakers including world renowned ethologist and activist Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Dame Inga Beale, Lloyds of London’s first female CEO and Khalida Popal, former Afghanistan women’s football captain.

Previous winners of the 4k Perfect Pitch competition include Rachael Coulter, CEO and founder of Stable Manager, a digital platform connecting horse owners with service providers offering the perfect technical solution for horse management, Glenda Burns of Breath NI, which provides support services to parents impacted by trauma and Sarah McAnallen the creator of Ezi-Sock, a device that makes putting on socks easier for people with reduced mobility

For further details about the IoD, included a full list of upcoming events, visit https://www.iod.com/locations/northern-ireland/events/.

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The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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