This startup incubator near Silicon Valley… is on a ship 12 miles off coast
October 16, 2011 by Terence LEE
Now here’s something that’s out of this world.
A group of guys affiliated to The Seasteading Institute are starting a tech startup incubator called Blueseed, 12 miles off the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is not too far away from Silicon Valley.
Stopping short of reclaiming an island, they’re doing it on a ship. They’ve already closed two investor rounds and have opened applications for entrepreneurs from around the world who are interested. They estimate a launch of Q3 2013 or later.
The Seasteading Intitute is a global initiative that aims to build floating cities that will experiment with new ideas of running society. If you think this is run by a bunch of crackpots, well, you’re half right.
But since December 2010, they have raised over US$1million, and their main backer is Peter Thiel, the inventor of PayPal and Facebook’s first investor. Crackpots happen to be the ones who change the world.
Anyway, the Blueseed vessel will be fully equipped. Instead of a dinghy, sinking boat, the guys promise it’ll be more akin to a cruise ship.
Occupants can expect comfortable living quarters, cafes, a gym, configurable offices, and more — everything you need to run a business. There’s also high speed internet access, convenience stores, post offices, and medical services. “Pricing would be competitive with Silicon Valley’s residential and commercial real estate,” according to the website.
Besides the obvious novelty value, this incubator-in-a-vessel aims to solve a real-world problem. It allows individuals who have difficulty obtaining work visas in California to still work in the state — since the ship is situated in an area that is outside the jurisdiction of the United States, yet still close enough to Silicon Valley.
International visitors who eventually get selected for the Blueseed program will still need to obtain a business and/or pleasure visa, unless you’re from these 36 countries (Singapore is one of them).
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE