The country’s antiquated work visa restrictions has sent a Sunnyvale-based company on a radical mission to host entrepreneurs from around the world in international waters on either a converted cruise ship or barge by as early as the first quarter of 2014.
Blueseed has just secured $300,000 in venture capital funding to help get the project off the ground although the company anticipates needing up to $35 million to make the offshore community a reality.
It proposes to station a ship in international waters off the coast of Half Moon Bay and have residents commute to Pillar Point Harbor via ferry.
The location will allow startup entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world to start or grow their company near Silicon Valley, without the need for a U.S. work visa, according to Blueseed.
The company was co-founded in 2011 by Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija, who had worked together at the Seasteading Institute, which promotes the concept of floating cities and contends "the ocean is the next frontier of human civilization.”
"It is a first-of-its-kind concept that will basically house companies,” Mutabdzija said.
The company is also considering leasing a cruise ship that could bring down the cost of the venture substantially, he told the Daily Journal.
"It’s the next evolution in the ship industry,” Mutabdzija said.
Ship residents will be charged from $1,200 to $3,000 a month for living and office space, according to Blueseed.
Ship amenities will include catering, full-service gymnasium, medical services, high-speed Internet access and a post office.
Blueseed proposes to host up to 1,000 residents at a time on the ship with a crew of up to 300.
Since U.S. immigration laws will not apply, tenants would work and live on the ship, and can get temporary visas to take a ferry to the mainland via Pillar Point Harbor, according to Blueseed.
Blueseed secured about $300,000 in venture capital investments last month from Floodgate Fund, Correlation Ventures and Zhenfund.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.