Effecten TEAM


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!”

July 2020

We were also able to complete the VIA 2018 this year. A subsidy has been provided for this by the SNN Every year, approximately 600,000 people in the Netherlands experience health problems due to dysfunctional breathing. The Drenthe company Breath In Balanz B.V. aims to find a solution for this and receives a subsidy from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). In the VIA 2018 plus project, the company focuses on the development of an innovative breathing belt that will help patients with dysfunctional breathing achieve a better breathing rate. In this way, patients will feel healthier and more vital.

August 2020

In August, NV NOM entered into a partnership with Breath In Balanz. This Investment and Development Company enables us to take the next step with the market launch of the BreathBalanz.

October 2020

On October 23, the Kick-OFF for setting up PGO Noord Nederland (Person-bound Environment) is a consortium of 37 companies including Philips, Leeuwarden Hospital, We are Gerrit and The Friesland. Breath In Balanz B.V. is also one of the participating SMEs. A subsidy of more than 10 million has been awarded for this


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 ”.


Leo Elenbaas



Sonja Nijhuis



Nellie Bontekoe



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