Beth Loring has spent her career helping companies of all kinds make their products more user-friendly. In September 2016 she decided to start her own consulting company, Loring Human Factors. And by December 2016, she had joined the Innovation Hub in Lowell.
“I wanted to be around other people and separate my home life from my professional life,” said Loring, a certified human factors professional with 30 years of experience in user research, product design and usability engineering. “I tell people that joining the iHub was one of the best decisions I made when I went out on my own.”
With her dedicated desk space, Loring has a docking station, office supplies and her sit-stand workstation, making for a comfortable space to work from every day.
“It’s very safe,” Loring said of the iHub. “I like being able to book conference rooms for in-person and remote client meetings. The view from the third floor and the location near the arts and culture area of downtown are a plus!”
Watching fellow startups go through the entrepreneurial journey from funding to manufacturing is inspiring and rewarding, Loring said. Since joining the iHub, Loring’s company has grown and she now has two employees, who work out of a coworking space in Chicago.
“For the past twelve years I’ve focused almost exclusively on the healthcare industry,” Loring said. “I’ve worked on a ton of interesting medical devices – everything from surgical robots and laparoscopic instruments to drug delivery and patient monitoring.”
Human factors engineering is required for devices to obtain both FDA and CE Mark approval, giving Loring’s company some job security even in challenging times.
“We do a lot of user research and usability testing and we offer regulatory advice,” she said. “And as more and more medical devices are being used in the home, usability is crucial.”
Being part of the iHub has allowed Loring to focus on building her business and she’s found new clients through networking at the iHub.