Ruth McLaren

Silver Lion Innovations

SEN Ambassador and Rising star alum Ruth McLaren, founder of Silver Lion Innovations

Silver Lion Innovations Ltd is a Scottish start–up which designs medical devices to help people turn over in bed, and self–manage their condition. It was founded after Ruth's experience in caring for a parent suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past 11 years. The first product ‘EasyOver’ is a ‘smart’ mattress topper which helps support people struggling with immobility to turn over in bed. Turning over is an important part of having a healthy and sound night's sleep to prevent cramp, deep vein thrombosis and heart failure from staying in one position for too long.

Ruth is set to graduate in July 2019, currently studying BA Business (Entrepreneurship and Marketing).

How has SEN helped you on your entrepreneurial journey? 

I couldn't recommend SEN more. The company has been a SEN supported client since March 2017, initially engaging through participation in the Enterprise Pathway programme and receiving follow on 1 – 2 – 1 business advice from start-up manager Alan Feighery. I was accepted onto the Rising Star Programme (2017-18), where I gained initial funding and access to networks where I found a mentor specializing in the commercialization of global products. The Enterprise Hub has a great buzz to it, and has been a useful asset to the business by having communal office space which is conducive to networking - an absolutely key aspect of moving the business forward. There have been numerous training events from experts to offer support and advice across a wide variety of business related activities. There's never a shortage of helpful advice, from competition applications to brand names as part of the Strathclyde entrepreneurial community!

What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?

I would say there's three key takeaway experiences from my journey so far. Firstly, to make the most of every opportunity - it's surprising what can come out of any event whether that's a mentor or advice. Also, to go and speak to your potential customers to find out what they would really like help with and what would be of most value to them. Finally, probably tenacity and enthusiasm: it's hard work but also exciting and rewarding!

List of Awards/ Accolades or Recent Achievements:

  • Top 30 of the Kickstart Converge Challenge in 2017
  • Accepted onto the Medicity Bootcamp in July 2017
  • Pitched at S100 event in November 2017
  • Strathclyde Rising Star Programme September 2017 - February 2018
  • Won SIE Fresh Ideas competition in January 2018
  • Won SIE Special award for Healthcare in March 2018
  • Winner of SIE's 'I'm an Innovator' competition June 2018
  • 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award finalist
  • Converge Challenge Kickstart: Entrepreneurial Spirit Award 2018