Alumnus Tim Balz Earns Innovation Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit

Friday, May 31, 2024
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Mechanical engineering alum Tim Balz received the 2024 Tom Mason Innovation Award for using his technical and entrepreneurial skills to found and lead Kalogon, a successful startup that’s invented the first smart seat cushion.

The entrepreneurial spirit, problem-solving skills, and drive for success that carried 2017 mechanical engineering alum Tim Balz through Rose-Hulman has paved the way for career success as the co-founder and chief executive officer of Kalogon, a successful startup that’s invented the world’s first smart cushion that’s empowering people to lead active, seated lives.

This success has brought him recognition as recipient of the Institute’s 2024 Tom Mason Innovation Award, presented during this spring’s Sawmill Society Weekend.

The Kalogon Cushion uses patented sensor technology to continually adapt to the needs of the user, giving people the ability to sit longer and pursue activities they were unable to before. The cushion has been approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to bill Medicare for services – helping expand the product’s potential market. 

Based in Melbourne, Florida, Kalogon’s product development efforts have been enhanced through the Sawmill Society Angels venture investment group, several Rose alumni as current and past company employees, and students assisting during co-op and internship work opportunities.

Learn more about the company at

As a student, Balz helped found the MakerLab and Make It Happen workspaces within the Branam and Kremer Innovation Centers that encourage students and multidisciplinary student teams to tinker on ideas and create humanitarian and entrepreneurial projects of their own choosing. He also was active as an intern with Rose-Hulman Ventures (RHV), completing several projects that addressed needs by industry clients. Balz is now helping mentor current student entrepreneurs as a Sawmill Society member and sponsor for internships/co-op work opportunities. 

The Tom Mason Innovation Award honors those ventures, founded or led by Rose students and alumni, whose innovativeness and social desirability bring distinction and admiration to alumni, their startup, and Rose-Hulman. Mason was a member of the Rose-Hulman faculty and administration for 38 years (1972-2010) as a professor of economics and engineering management, vice president of business and finance, and co-founder of RHV.