- The idea of Paul Gheno and Damien Roy, the two founders of the Gironde start-up Sevun, is to offer a single telescope that adapts to different situations, when today it is necessary to equip yourself with a telescope for a type of observation.
- The Sevunscope has been designed to fit 80% of the mirror sizes on the market, which measure between 15 and 25 cm in diameter.
- It is expected to be sold for between 700 and 1,200 euros by the end of 2024.
One telescope for different viewing situations. Paul Gheno's idea was based on the observation that, when you start in astronomy, you usually get a fairly basic first telescope, with a budget of 300-500 euros, but which quickly becomes limited because of the size of the mirror. In the absence of a scalable mount available on the market, it is therefore necessary to buy a second, larger telescope. And so on if you get caught up in the game.
"I came up against the same observation myself: I have equipment with an optical construction with a very large focal length, which is very good for observing planets, but which limits me for other things," explains this astronomy enthusiast, who spent fifteen years working in fiber optics for a telecoms group. In the spring of 2020, in the middle of lockdown, "I told myself that I would build my own telescope, which could adapt according to my needs". Paul Gheno talks about it to a friend, Damien Roy. "He had just got a 3D printer, and I wanted him to print some parts of this telescope."
"It's like in photography, where you have interchangeable lenses"
The two friends quickly understood that they had a brilliant idea, which could go further, and filed a patent in 2021, with the idea of sounding out the market. "Our telescope has been designed to fit 80% of the mirror sizes on the market, which are between 15 and 25 cm in diameter. The idea is to have the most open base possible, on which the astronomer can add mirrors from different builders, or even from his own construction. It's like in photography, where we have interchangeable lenses for our DSLR cameras. The advantage is, of course, to spend less than if you had to change telescopes each time. »
The Sevunscope also allows you to change the focal length from 750 to 1,250 mm to suit the desired mirrors and aperture diameter. Thus, it is possible to simply replace the primary mirror with another of the same diameter but with a different focal length.
€30,000 raised during a pre-sale campaign for the very first Sevunscope
After proposing this concept to a hundred people in the astronomical community, and getting half of the response positive, Paul Gheno and Damien Roy raised initial funds to create Sevun and turned to the start-up incubator Bordeaux Unitec for support. They then launched a pre-sale campaign on Kickstarter for their equipment, which resulted in the sale of 25 Sevunscope, which raised an additional 30,000 euros.
"Now, we will tackle a more delicate stage, that of pre-industrialization, which will require a larger fundraising, to launch our modular telescope on the market by the end of 2024," says Paul Gheno. If the Sevunscope was offered on Kickstarter between 650 and 1,050 euros depending on the version, it will be more necessary to count "between 700 and 1,200 euros" for the price on the consumer market.
- New Aquitaine