Sunday, December 30, 2012

Offshore Half Moon Bay live/work ship project may launch late 2013

Well, here's another way to deal with broken immigration reform. 

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 12/27/12. "Offshore startup incubator nets seed money."

Blueseed Modern Hull - ship and ferries
Blueseed Artful Containers - top-starboard view
Another variation: a repurposed barge 
"An outlandish business idea to moor a startup community off the shores of Half Moon Bay may have just hooked a whale of an investor. The Sunnyvale company Blueseed announced last week it has received a round of funding from a new group of Silicon Valley venture capital firms, including the acclaimed Floodgate Fund.

Blueseed officials believe they have a solution for immigrant entrepreneurs to tap Silicon Valley’s talent and investment money without having a permanent work visa. They propose anchoring a cruise ship about 12 miles off the U.S. shores, where they say U.S. immigration laws won’t apply. Tenants would work and live on the boat, and they could get temporary visas to take a ferry to the mainland via Pillar Point Harbor."

Proposed off shore business location
Floodgate Fund managing partner Mike Maples Jr. noted he was investing “less than $300,000” in Blueseed. The company also received recent seed money from Correlation Ventures and the ZhenFund. If the idea is to ever set sail, Blueseed backers say they’ll need anywhere from $15 million to $35 million to purchase and retrofit a cruise ship or barge."

Reference - Blueseed Company.  "Blueseed is a project to station a ship 12 nautical miles from the coast of San Francisco, in international waters. 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 US work visa. The ship will be converted into a coworking and co-living space, and will have high-speed Internet access and daily transportation to the mainland via ferry boat. So far, over 1000 entrepreneurs from 60+ countries expressed interest in living on the ship."

Related article - Huffington Post/Associated Press/Brooke Donald, 12/16/12.  "Blueseed startup sees entrepreneur ship as visa solution for silicon valley." "  "A bill to address so-called brain-drain was reintroduced this year by Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. The Startup Visa Act would allow immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign graduates from U.S. universities to appeal for a two-year visa "on condition that they secure financing from a qualified U.S. investor and can demonstrate the ability to create American jobs."  .... "Our solution is an entrepreneurial solution," said Dario Mutabdzija, Blueseed's president.  From cruise ships to oil rigs to military aircraft carriers, there are several examples of individuals living and working on ships. This one would accommodate about 1,000 people and be docked 12 miles southwest of San Francisco Bay, in international waters. It would be registered in a country with a reputable legal system, maybe the Bahamas or the Marshall Islands, Marty said. Residents would be subject to the laws of that nation.  ....  Blueseed wants to raise $10 million to $30 million over the next year and a half. The goal would be to launch in late 2013."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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