Blueseed : A Visa-Free Floating Silicon Valley

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Because of the United States' current immigration and regulatory regime, not all entrepreneurs from around the world are given the chance to come to Silicon Valley and develop the technologies that could be creating jobs . Blueseed aims to solve this problem by creating a high-tech visa-free entrepreneurship and technology incubator on an ocean vessel in international waters. The facilities will be a short ferry ride away from Silicon Valley so that the residents have convenient access to the San Francisco Bay Area. Blueseed will provide a customized environment centered around legal best practices, and living and work accommodations.

Amit Aharoni, an Israeli entrepreneur whose San Francisco startup created nine American jobs, received a letter from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) notifying him that his visa request was denied, and that he had to leave the US. Amit managed to spark a massive nation-wide media campaign and USCIS reversed their decision, but how many entrepreneurs are there who aren’t so fortunate? Tarik Ansari put together a video with the stories of several of these entrepreneurs, at http://startingupinamerica.com/. Tarik himself was forced to return to his home country last month.

“Each of us at Blueseed is passionate about entrepreneurship, and greatly admires foreign born entrepreneurs who start new companies and try to make a difference (two of Blueseed's cofounders are immigrants, and the third is the son of immigrant parents). We feel that entrepreneurs should have the choice of starting their business in Silicon Valley, because everyone wins when good new ideas are allowed to flourish, and Silicon Valley provides the most nourishing soil for startups today. Blueseed is committed to offering foreign entrepreneurs the choice to locate in Silicon Valley.” says Max Marty, CEO and Cofounder at BlueSeed.Blueseed is currently raising seed funding and they expect to be launched and operational around Q3 2013.

Their Survey of Startups has received 50+ entries so far, and shows that startups from around the world (Australia, Austria, Canada, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, South Korea, UK, Ukraine etc.) are interested in relocating on the Blueseed vessel. Among the most frequently listed reasons are “Proximity to Silicon Valley investors”, and “Streamlined legal and regulatory environment”.

The Silicon Valley investor and tech community has expressed a high degree of interest in the idea as a solution to the shortage of access to global talent that Silicon Valley is experiencing.“We would very much like to hear the perspectives of Indian entrepreneurs via our survey.” says Max. Would you be interested in this outlandish ( no pun intended ! ) floating entrepreneurial hub ? Do leave your comments.

- Vallabh Rao