Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazers: Sarah McAnallen

  • Name: Sarah McAnallen

    Role: Founder & CEO of McAnallen Ltd.


    I am 23 years old. I have recently graduated from UIster University, where I studied Product Design. During University, I started up my company McAnallen, in which I have designed a range of products to help individuals who had mobility issues. The first product I launched was a sock-aid. It allows you to put on your socks without needing to bend down.

    What does your typical day look like?

    I start my mornings off with emails and phone calls. I have a to-do every day that I work my way through. As I’m the only person in my business, I could be doing anything from accounts and admin work to designing the next product and dealing with manufacturing companies. At the end of the day I make my to do list for the next day. Every day is so different.

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m currently working on expanding my manufacturing capabilities to allow me to sell more products.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I started the company myself; I identified a problem through a personal experience with my mum, I then realised more people needed this product, so I started making the product for others and the business grew from there. 

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    No. When I was younger, I just knew I liked science and mathematics but I also liked to be creative and make things. This industry has allowed me to use all of those skills and I love it.

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    I love being my own boss. I like that I can decide how I want things done, when I want them done, and I love the challenge of bringing a product to market. I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    Do it. The tech industry is so diverse. With such a high demand for young women, good salaries and opportunity to make a difference in the world, it is worth having a look.

    How do you see this technology impacting on our lives?

    This technology has the opportunity to make our lives easier and more efficient. It can give independance to individuals and gives back more time to spend doing the things they love.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    It was one of the only fields that allow me to use all my different skills and do so many aspects of what I love. I know if I ever left the job I do now, I still have so many more options and possibilities.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    Assistive technology. Technology that helps individuals with a disability live a more independent life, such as a mechanical braille watch. It helps people who are blind tell the time privately.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My headphones. I love when I can’t hear anything but music and get lost in my own little bubble.

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