Mohammad Ismail, the inventor of the technology, developed the concept of a low-cost prostheses through years of labour in the field. During his training as an Ortho-Prosthesis he always wondered why prosthestics were always so costly while the materials and labour to produce them, were not. He challenged his teachers promising that one day he 'would make a prostheses cheaper than a pair of shoes'.
He developed the prototype of his invention while working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq (5 years) and in Sudan (6 years). Not wishing to divert from their established methods and supply chain, the ICRC preferred not to adopt Mr Ismail's production process. At Project Hope in Khartoum, a Sudanese government rehabilitation hospital, he could test and apply the invention with great success, thus realizing his dream to indeed, make a prostheses cheaper than a pair of shoes. Like the ICRC, Project Hope took no interest in taking the technology beyond the clinic doors. Things took a turn his way when Mr Ismail arrived in Lugano to attend the masters in Humanitarian Logistics and Management (MASHLM) at the Universita della Svizzera Italianà.
As Director of the (MASHLM) Prof. Paulo Gonçalves was the first person Mr. Ismail approached for counsel. As the sole person able to make what would become a 'SwissLeg', he wanted a platform to train others in the skill. Immediately recognizing the value of the invention, Prof Gonçalves suggested he recruit a Swiss national to partner with him as Switzerland has a wide range of organizations able to aid innovative start-ups. The Swiss national that Mr Ismail approached was Roberto Agosta. The two men wrote their thesis based on a business plan for SwissLeg and as soon as they graduated, the three men began implementing it, Prof Gonçalves as Chief Operations Officer and Mr Agosta as Chief Executive Officer. And so SwissLeg was born.