Thursday
Nov222012

Radical Thinking @ Sea

An attribute of Silicon Valley I have always appreciated is the big visions of entrepreneurs and their ability to infect, interest and inspire others with that vision.

The vision of the Blueseed Project is big, radical and inspirational.  It’s a ‘no visa required’ ship moored 12 miles off the coast of Silicon Valley, California.  As a live/work ship for entrepreneurs, Blueseed will have high-speed internet access, cool living quarters, and daily ferry service to the mainland.  Once on land, it’s less than one hour’s drive to San Francisco, venture capitalists, major universities and startups of every kind.   A thousand of the most interesting and exciting entrepreneurs will be part of the Blueseed community, living on this ship, when it launches at the end of 2013.  www.blueseed.co

Blueseed is radical.  Just think about it.  A ship off the coast of California, in international waters, far away from the US government’s jurisdiction in visas, immigration, customs and taxation.  Yet close enough to Silicon Valley’s amazing ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors, universities, service providers, research labs, and the high energy and creativity of the world’s most innovation ecosystems. 

Blueseed is similar, in some ways, to an incubator or accelerator. They will provide access to service providers (legal, accounting), mentors, coaches, educational programs and take an equity stake in each company.   Blueseed will receive compensation in the form of rent ranging from $1200/month to $3000/month.  Eventually, other sources of revenue would kick in, including corporate sponsorship and advertising, reality television shows and more.  (Of course, the ubiquitous reality TV has to be in the mix!)

What differentiates Blueseed from other incubators and accelerators, other than the fact that it’s a ship moored out in the ocean, is that this community of entrepreneurs and startups will be completely unconstrained by the type of work they must perform as required by many US visa restrictions.  Some entrepreneurs don’t think they can complete their innovative startup work quickly enough within the timeframes of a work visa, which is typically 180 days.  Being unaffected by a visa timeline allows important and radical ideas to develop naturally and flourish.  Adequate time to prove the concept, build the company and become sufficiently sized to get funding will improve the chances of securing the requisite visa(s) from US Customs & Immigration Service.  By that time, chances are high that the company is creating jobs and adding tax revenues to the both the state of California and the US government.  More than 1000 entrepreneurs have already expressed interest in Blueseed.

While Blueseed’s current hurdle is raising the full $50 million necessary to purchase and retrofit a suitably sized cruise ship, we will undoubtedly see and hear more from them over the coming months.    Blueseed CEO and entrepreneur, Max Marty, was part of think tank studying solutions for building communities on the ocean.  Sprinkle in his MBA, finance, and philosophy educational background and we could have the radical thinking necessary to create the right environment to foster far-reaching creativity in entrepreneurs and startups.  This environment, the Blueseed Project, is about to address a very real pain point in the market—facilitating startup innovation and creativity, unconstrained by visas, in close proximity to Silicon Valley. 

Let’s just sea what happens.  

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