Vaonis brought the stars and planets within everyone’s reach with its Stellina and Vespera connected telescopes, technological marvels that fit into a backpack. The only French company to win a Best of Innovation award at CES 2021 in Las Vegas, Vaonis
revolutionized astronomy observation.
Using a mobile app on a smartphone, the telescopes adjust their focus directly on the celestial object selected by the user. Autofocus keeps the image clear continuously, displaying high-definition images on the smartphone screen. The user can easily save and share them. On top of that, the iOS and Android app even recommends the best observations for any given day.
Thanks to its innovations, Vaonis has made it child’s play to observe the universe. The company’s products have met with success far beyond the regular community of astronomy fans. The latest model, Vespera, is the result of a crowdfunding operation launched on KickStarter in 2020
– “the most funded astronomy product in the world in terms of pre-orders.” In 2021 alone, Vaonis expects to deliver over 1,800 units.
Quite a success. However, when Cyril Dupuy was starting out in 2016, he was not really ready to run a company.
“I did not know anything about company management. I did not even know what a business plan was,” he remembers.
He had been passionate about astronomy since the age of 15, but he had a recurring idea to create a new type of telescope. Here’s how he decided to knock at the door of Montpellier BIC
while he was a Masters’ student at University of Montpellier at the age of 24. Sort of an all-or-nothing approach.
“Either they accepted me and I launched the project, or I dropped it,” he says.
His application was selected. The young man dedicated himself entirely to the venture. Vaonis took off, proving that it was a good idea. Since it was founded, the company has experienced exponential growth. Vaonis is currently expanding its staff from 15 to 20 people. Recognized with an award from Ad’Occ, the Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée Regional Economic Development Agency, at the most recent Occitanie Innov
competition, the company expects to double its sales this year, with 90% coming from exports.
Montpellier BIC assistance was a decisive factor,” admits Cyril Dupuy:
“Thanks to Montpellier BIC, I learned how to set up a team, write a business plan, fund company growth, and more. BIC experts guided me every step of the way, pointing out aspects that I needed to correct. They also know how to introduce us to other organizations that we need in order to continue growing, such as WeSprint, without which it would have been harder to raise funds. In short, Montpellier BIC helped me walk by myself,” he summarizes. He adds: “I recommend that anyone who has a business idea to contact them.”
The young company is preparing to leave Cap Alpha
, the cocoon in which it grew, to set up its much larger offices in Montpellier’s Millénaire business park.