Korkki deemed ‘pitch perfect' at Women's Leadership Conference

Gabrielle Feenan

RECENT university graduate and sustainable entrepreneur Gabrielle Feenan secured £4,000 for her start-up business after winning the 4K Pitch at this 2022 IoD Women’s Leadership Conference.

Her firm Korkki aims to combat furniture waste by substituting harmful medium-density fibreboard (MDF) pieces for biodegradable cork alternatives.

Four female business leaders were short-listed 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 more than 1,000 leading business figures from across Northern Ireland and further afield come together to celebrate female leadership.

Gabrielle said: “This funding 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 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.

IoD NI chairman Gordon Milligan extended congratulations to Gabrielle, adding: “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 were Jo Warner (EQuinox Rising), Sinead Welsh (Informed Minds App) and Tina Calder (Merlin Arts CIC).

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access