Thinking outside the box - No US work permit? No problem if you’re a tech startup. Offshore boat nurtures non-US tech startups
Located close to Silicon Valley, Blueseed aims to be the first offshore floating startup community for firms whose employees do not have US work permits
Blueseed aims to be the first offshore floating startup community for firms whose employees do not have US work permits.
With plans to launch between the third quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, Blueseed will consist of a large vessel located 12 nautical miles from the coast of California, in non-territorial waters. The ship will house both living and working arrangements, as well as amenities such as a post office and medical centre. The idea behind Blueseed was conceived to help immigrant entrepreneurs having trouble remaining in the US to stay close to the centre of tech innovation — bearing in mind of course that the co-founders of Google, Yahoo! and Intel, among others, came from non-US backgrounds. Visa restrictions will not apply on the boat as it is located out of the jurisdiction of the US, although once small businesses achieve sufficient scale to need more space, the owners will also help them to gain work permits in the US. Transport to the mainland will be provided through a twice-daily large-capacity ferry – US citizens will be able to travel to the boat at anytime, while non-citizens can obtain a 180-day business/tourist visa to visit California. Although the design of the vessel is not yet finalized, proposed mock-ups depict the boat as the size of a large office complex. Startups interested in applying for a place on Blueseed can fill in a survey on the company’s website now. Accommodation (including living and working space) will be priced at USD 1,200 per month for a shared cabin to USD 3,000 for a top-tier single cabin.
Blueseed aims to bring together talented entrepreneurs from around the world into one community, which will have close links to Silicon Valley. We’ve seen quite a few organisations seeking to help tech startups now, but could something similar be applied to your industry?