The Van den Kroonenbergprize for young entrepreneurship has been awarded to UT alumnus Felix Broens. He is the founder, owner, and CTO at Convergence and received the award during the Entrepreneurial Day.
Broens founded the company in 2010 after he finished his Master’s degree Chemical Engineering at the UT specializing in membrane technology. He continued in this field with his company Convergence, producing testing systems for liquids and gasses that are used in UT laboratories among others.
With 15 full-time employees currently working at his company, products being shipped all over the world and his other success one could ask what was the key to this success? ‘Hard work’, is what Broens says. ‘We make efficient, well automated and astatically pleasing test equipment’. Another reason his company is successful according to Broens is the cooperation with other UT spinoffs such as Micronit. ‘They provide us the microfluidic chips for example, and we use these in our products. Meaning our success is theirs and vice versa’ says Broens.
Although Convergence already operates internationally Broens states that is not his goal to have the company grow much larger. ‘We work hard, we make good products, we do this well, I’m doing what I enjoy with a passion for building equipment and chemical process technology.
Like father, like son
This passion isn’t something that came out of nowhere. Broens’ father, Lute Broens, received the Van den Kroonenbergprize in 1989. His company X-Flow (Currently Pentair X-Flow) is specialized in membrane technology. ‘It was never the intention to end up in the same field’ says Felix Broens laughingly. ‘But one thing leads to another. After middle school, I had no clue as to what I wanted to study and my dad advised me to start Chemical Engineering at the UT. I feel it is quite special that he and I have won the same prize now!’