Adam Yusuf, Active Legs Ltd

Adam is the founder and director of Active Legs, and has developed the ‘Footrocka’ devices to stretch and strengthen muscles, ligaments and tendons, and increase blood circulation.

Hi Adam. Tell us a little bit about you and your business…

I am the founder and director of Active Legs, and I have developed the FootRocka devices. I have in-depth knowledge of managing companies and organisations as well as prior experience running businesses in the UK and abroad. In the last 25 years, I have worked at various levels and capacity in the voluntary, statutory and private sector in Sheffield. 

I had the idea for Active Legs when I was squashed in economy class for seven and a half hours, travelling back and forth form Manchester to Dubai several times a year, and unable to do any kind of exercise. I wanted to create a way of exercising the legs and feet using a small, portable device people could take with them on a plane, where weight and space is at a premium. 

While the initial and predominant target market for the product is long haul passengers, the AMRC have also supported us to explore further potential markets such as the elderly and less mobile, and those undergoing physiotherapy or rehabilitation. The device is currently awaiting a semi clinical trial with Sheffield Hallam University.

In collaboration with the iForge at the University of Sheffield, with the expertise of university students Shamoil Khomosi (Robotics and Mechatronics) and Alex McNab (Msc, Bioengineering), Active Legs proceeded to the next stage and added digital functionality, including wireless communication and a proof-of-concept app was released as a result of this next phase of product development.

What has been Active Legs’ greatest success?

We have developed 3 different types of FootRocka devices: FootRocka, PocketRocka and DigitalRocka. We have produced a professional business plan, pitch deck and case studies to prove proof of concept. We have worked in collaboration with both Sheffield University an Sheffield Hallam University, acquired funding from the Sheffield Innovation Programme, and worked with the AMRC regarding product development phase, acquiring professional support and expertise.

What about your greatest challenges?

Being the sole director of the company, I have yet to assemble a team that would assist and support the company to move forward, and especially to build the brand of FootRocka under the Active Legs entity. The other challenge is attracting relevant crowdfunding and equity funding. Overall, new start-ups have a huge mountain to climb and prove their worth in order to be taken seriously, and hence it can be challenging at times to maintain the momentum.

Why is IoT important to you?

IoT is important to Active Legs to expand our expertise and knowledge. The IoT Engine practically helped us to develop the digital FootRocka device further and Dr Rikki Coles was very understanding and spent his valuable time to understand our requirements and expectations, ultimately delivering the end product to our satisfaction. Finally, he also suggested ideas of the way forward and referred us to a number of other relevant electronic companies to enhance the product further.

What have your experiences on the IoT Engine been like?

Overall, it has been a good environment of welcoming people, great facilities at the DMC, and expertise in various capacities. As a new startup, we felt that this was the right place to come for advice, support and guidance. The IoT team instilled confidence and made us believe that our product is worthwhile pursuing, which was empowering and was critical in the early stages of product development for startup companies.

What’s next for Active Legs?

To assemble a team who can assist me in various capacities looking at the product, validation, cost of production and marketing. Also, working on validation and scaling the product. Finally, to create a successful commerical FootRocka product that has potential and is impactful in a positive way.

You can read more about Active Legs here: Exercise device rocking on with AMRC | AMRC