Understanding Society

Tilburg University has been a reliable provider of high-quality education and research for more than eighty years. We specialize in the social sciences and humanities and we seek to make a structural contribution to society.

Koen Lavrijssen wins Best Entrepreneurial Student Initiative (BESI) Award

Koen Lavrijssen is the winner of the annual BESI (Best Entrepreneurial Student Initiative) Award 2017. The award was presented for the second time on September 4, 2017, during the Opening of the Academic Year.

Lavrijssen won the prize – a statuette and 1000 euro – for Mr. Winston: a new user-friendly till system for the restaurant and café industry that provides more overview for waiting staf and chefs. Besides Koen, two other entrepreneurial students were nominated. Sander Berensen with SB Supply: a web shop with exclusive products that can be connected to mobile devices.  And finally Kees van Rengs with Plennid: a community for sustainable entrepreneurs in the city of Rotterdam.The winner of the award was determined by letting the audience vote. Each initiative was first introduced by a short video. Subsequently, the ceremonie’s presenter Nathan de Groot asked each nominee a few questions about their idea. After all nominees had their turn, the audience took to voting using a mobile app. Around 300 votes were cast, with Koen Lavrijssen narrowly beating Kees van Rengs to take the win.


Tilburg University alumnus Harmen van Heist, co-founder of Rural Spark, handed out the BESI Award. With Rural Spark he creates the world's next energy network, smartly distributed, viable and sustainable, through a unique approach that empowers for local systems to emerge. Therefore, he fitted perfectly within the theme of this year’s Opening: ‘Taking Responsibility in a Connected World’.

You can view the video’s of each nominee on the Tilburg University YouTube channel: