Blueseed, a visa-free startup incubator planning to locate on a vessel anchored in international waters near the coast of Silicon Valley, announced in a survey that 550+ entrepreneurs from 180+ startups in 50+ countries have shown interest in taking up residence on the ship.
In the survey, 25.2% of startups originating from the US have shown interest in locating on Blueseed. While 8.9% of Indian startups and 5.4% of Australian startups have shown similar interest. Check out the graph for details on other countries:
Founded in late 2011, Blueseed was started by two former employees of The Seasteading Institute. The company aims at working on launching a ship near Silicon Valley which will serve as a visa-free startup community and entrepreneurial incubator. The project is funded by PayPal founder Peter Thiel. The need for such a vessel originated as existing Visa system in the US does not support Entrepreneurs and there has been no progress on legislation like Startup Visa Act. Entrepreneurs like Amit Aharoni, an Israeli national and a graduate of Stanford Business School, who secured $1.65 million in venture capital funding, received a letter from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) denying his visa request and notifying him to leave the country immediately. His startup, at that time, employees 9 employees. However, when the issue went public, he was granted a Visa.
Benefits Blueseed offers
Blueseed’s vessel is to be located 12 miles from Bay area in International waters. As the Ship will be in the international waters, entrepreneurs will require no visa to visit or work. Domestic US laws will also not be applicable on people living on the ship. However, it’s assuring that the US still has the right to “act to prevent violations of its environmental, customs, fiscal, or immigration laws, or to apprehend vessels suspected of violating them” within that zone if it sees fits, according to Wired, as fully international waters begin only 44km offshore. Blueseed aims to create a dorm type environment where it wants to bring together the best technology minds and ideas from around the world. Apart from that, Blueseed will also be offering facilities such as 1GBPS internet connection, twice a day ferry to the coast, and more.
What’s not clear
Blueseed hasn’t confirmed yet, but it is expected to register its vessel with the Bahamas or the Marshall Islands for international tax regulations.
What concerns us
Although the idea is novel, what concerns us is that with a bunch load of talented people on board, the ship is going to face hell lots of poaching issues which might lead to yet another Anti-poaching agreement. Not only are such agreements distasteful, they might slow down employees over all growth.
While 38.1% of Startups would move to Blueseed if the environment met their needs right now, Blueseed is slated for launch only in Q3 2012.