Incomplete skeletons of drones once-flown dot the shelves alongside parts of others inside Airnest’s second-floor office at the Innovation Park Technology Center.

They’re odes to the past. The promising three-man start-up company initially built its own drones to test software which is now Airnest’s primary focus — Ben Brautigam, Justin Miller, and Sherwyn Saul want to make it easier for anyone to fly a drone.

“So we had this idea—what if to control a drone, you just drew on a map and where you drew the drone would fly?” Brautigam says.

Done. Airnest recently released its first app that is quite user-friendly for inexperienced fliers. Apply a few flight parameters into your device, draw your flight path, and the drone is on its way, relaying its perspective to you on the ground. Tilt or pan the device as you would 400 feet in the air for an eye-in-the-sky view.

It’s gotten great responses from consumers and inquiries about custom development work from potential clients, progress that has Airnest’s founders motivated and hopeful for the future filled with drones.

“The commercial use cases are growing by the day,” Brautigam says. “So our focus has been in news and broadcasting, agriculture, of course aerial photography and video, filmmaking, oil and gas inspection.”

“There’s so much more that these things can do,” Miller adds. “And as they get less and less expensive and there are new sensors and new tools that can be attached to them, in five years, there are going to be people doing things with them that we haven’t even thought of right now.”

For Airnest’s founders, self-described “technology geeks” who gasp, groan, and chuckle at the sight of an iPhone at least three models old still in use, innovative thinking has given them plenty of ideas. They’re looking into compliance software that will make reporting data to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) much easier. They’ve partnered with DJI, the largest manufacturer of civilian-use drones in the world to develop software. They’re also looking to expand their operation by adding employees, soon.

Growing the business to this point in just over a year required a change in their thought process, however. Innovation Park’s TechCelerator program for start-ups enabled Airnest’s founders to do so.

“You have a good idea and you think you can build a company around it, but there is so much more to consider,” Brautigam says. “And that program lets you look at things like legal, how to protect your IP. Financials, how to build a budget and how to setup a pitch deck to talk to investors and other companies and build partnerships.”

Airnest may not be able to do airborne demonstrations at Innovation Park due to its close proximity to the State College Airport, but the office space has helped the young company to grow in other areas. Park resources and continued access to TechCelerator advisors have kept Airnest’s founders thinking like CEOs in addition to technologists.

Proof in point, a recent conversation Miller and Brautigam had about travel.

“We started talking about how much we hate traveling and how great it would be if someone invented teleportation,” Miller says. “But instead of geeking out about the technology and the science, we started talking to each other about, ‘You know, what would be the business model for teleportation. How would you make money? How would you frame that?’ And then we stopped and we’re like, ‘Oh my god, we’ve totally changed the way we think about how we approach these things.’ And a lot of that is due to being able to go through the course."