Kalogon, the market leader in smart wheelchair cushions, today announced it has raised $3.3 million in seed funding and federal grants for the development and expansion of its patent-pending technology. The investor group includes Sawmill Angels, a new investment arm of alumni of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, leading Florida investors DeepWork Capital, SeedFundersOrlando and VenVelo, as well as federal grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) and the U.S. Air Force.
Using a combination of machine learning and patent-pending air cell technology, the Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion analyzes pressure points in real-time, intelligently redistributing weight, increasing comfort and maintaining blood flow in wheelchair users. A connected app enables wheelchair users, caregivers and clinicians to personalize their experience to support healing and pain relief. The company will use the new funds to scale both domestically and internationally, increase staff and expand the product’s capabilities.
“Pressure injuries cost tens of billions of dollars annually and indicate an unmet need in care,” said Ben Patz, managing partner at DeepWork Capital. “Kalogon’s technology saves lives for a fraction of that cost. Kalogon’s technology has created an entirely new market in smart seating, with applications in wheelchair mobility and beyond, and we are confident our investment will help get their groundbreaking product into the homes of everyone who needs it.”
“We previously backed Tim and his team of aerospace engineers at Kalogon because we saw they brought the Silicon Valley startup ethos to Central Florida and were set to change the world with their smart wheelchair cushion technology,” said Dr. Dennis Pape, CEO of SeedFundersOrlando. “They innovate, rapidly execute and exceed expectations. We are thrilled to have helped assemble this leading Florida investment group along with investors from Tim’s alma mater, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, to bring additional resources to scale Kalogon.”
Kalogon first announced product availability in February 2022 and immediately delivered value to wheelchair users and clinicians. Traditional cushions can cause reduced blood flow, leading to painful and costly pressure sore injuries. Early Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion users reported significant improvements in overall comfort, accelerated healing, and an ability to sit two times longer. Kalogon’s innovative technology helped win the Groundswell Pitch Competition and the Florida Venture Pitch Competition, allowing them to further expand their reach. The Orbiter Smart Cushion is now in use at 20 Veterans Affairs hospitals throughout the United States.
“Pressure injuries are the most preventable cause of death in wheelchair users, yet they kill more people each year than colon, breast or prostate cancer,” said Tim Balz, founder and CEO of Kalogon. “We are on a mission to redesign wheelchair technology to help prevent these injuries and give wheelchair users the freedom to do what they love. This is the first step in our journey to revolutionize seating for everyone.”
“Kalogon is freedom,” said John Miller, one of Kalogon’s first users. “I’ve been able to take pain-free road trips for the first time in 18 years; I’ve worked in the garden longer than I used to; I’ve traveled to see my grandchildren. Kalogon gave me my life back.”
Kalogon, the leader in smart wheelchair cushion technology, is on a mission to empower wheelchair users by helping them live a safe and active, seated life. Using patent-pending air cell technology, Kalogon cushions improved patient comfort in case studies. Kalogon custom manufactures in partnership with BAC, a social enterprise dedicated to building communities that support members of unique abilities in growing their own personal success. The Kalogon Orbiter Smart Cushion is available for wheelchair users, facilities, and clinicians.