Sonja: “Pitching, networking and constantly propagating your idea. That has ensured that we can now show a wonderful product: the BreathBalanz. We are very proud of the result. The BreathBalanz is ready to conquer the world. Breathe in Breathe out!”
After a number of wanderings that you make as a starting entrepreneur, we were selected in 2018 and 2019 for the largest consumer electronics fair in the world: the CES in Las Vegas. There were many positive responses, which gave confidence to continue. Via this fair, Sonja and Nellie came in contact with Leo Elenbaas, the current CEO.
Leo: “We immediately started working together to raise funding. That is not a simple matter for a start-up that is not affiliated with a university. But persevering, persevering and continuing to believe in your mission will get you very far. Rabobank from Meppel became our first financier. Great how they have embraced this project. In the meantime we had also joined NovelT at the University of Twente. Thanks to their support there was more funding; not only from their own fund, but also from the Rabobank Innovation Fund. The subsidy obtained from the SNN was also fantastic news! Another step towards the realization of our dream ”.
But it didn’t stop there, their dream went on. Sonja: “Our mission is to put good breathing on the map worldwide and improve the lives of millions of people. Big dream never stops, right? We had a training program in an app. Now we had to make the switch to a technical feat: how do you measure the breathing frequency and do you link those measurements to the training program in the app? ”
Because Sonja and Nellie noticed that many people benefited from proper breathing, we wanted to help them further with an app. It became a personal breathing coach: the In-BalanzApp that was downloaded 35,000 times worldwide and received a Health Award nomination.
Nellie: “I can well imagine that people do not relate these complaints to their breathing. Because breathing comes naturally? Yet correct breathing is of vital importance. Good breathing literally gives you peace of mind: both mentally and physically. And we have been able to help many people with this in recent years. I am extremely proud of that ”.
In 2007 Sonja started her own practice: “In-Balanz”. In her practice she helped people with disrupted breathing for years, often caused by stress, panic, anxiety or hyperventilation. One of her clients was Nellie. She came to Sonja with all kinds of vague complaints. Sonja advised to follow her breathing therapy, and so it happened. Nellie: “I had to practice twice a day for 80 days at home and once every two weeks at Sonja’s practice. Quite a challenge, but I was able to hold on. My complaints disappeared due to breathing therapy. I too was impressed by the effects and I started taking courses to work as a therapist. In 2010 I joined Sonja in practice.
Survive. That is what a mother or father does for her children. And that is what Sonja literally did when both her children got sick. Survive. For years. And that took its toll
Sonja: “When my children finally got better, I went down. My survival position had reached its maximum and I had severe panic attacks. Until I came in contact with breathing therapy: it completely changed my life. I was so impressed by the effects of breathing exercises that I was trained as a counselor and a breathing therapist ”.
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