The New Pirates of Silicon Valley
To invest in the best batches of tech startups, there’s naturally no better place to look in the country other than Silicon Valley.
It’s the technology nerve center where ideas, capital and culture find chemistry and generate more venture capital and filed patents than anywhere else in the United States.
But as we covered yesterday, those opportunities can be difficult to invest in, and I’m talking about before their inflated IPO prices. And the best startups that don’t make it to IPO status are intercepted by quick and quiet acquisitions. Google, for example, since 2009 has been acquiring one company per week.
But Tomorrow in Review has connected with two extraordinary entrepreneurs who’ve founded a company with a novel solution.
It’s called Blueseed.
It was inspired by those who’ve experienced even more difficulty investing and/or founding startups in Silicon Valley. That is, it was inspired by immigrants. Why?
Long story short:
There are simply no U.S. visas available for entrepreneurs, the alternatives are inadequate, and progress on legislation like the Visa Startup Act isn’t happening. But the demand is there.
According to TIME, “tech executives often talk about a shortage of highly-skilled workers and the need to make it easier for immigrants with such skills to come to the U.S.”
Mid-way through 2012, the cap on H-1B visas — which allow educated foreign workers to get a job in the U.S. — had been reached. This year is so far following suit.
But back to the solution!
Blueseed’s idea is this…
You may have heard of sea steading, the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea outside territory claimed by the government of any standing nation.
Well, Blueseed is the first commercial sea steading venture.
Strategically positioned 12 miles off the California coast, it would bring in the world’s top 1000 entrepreneurs closer to Silicon Valley without being subject to the same immigration laws.
The plan is to remodel a cruise ship or barge, equipped with all the high-tech amenities expected of a startup incubator. Internet connectivity would be provided via submarine communications cable, a laser link, point-to-point microwave link, or a mesh network of wireless routers placed on buoys.
The idea may some crazy, but giant cruise liners and offshore oil platforms already prove such maritime structures can be orchestrated. And while true sea steads may still be a distant dream, the seasteading movement is producing some novel ideas for ocean-based businesses that could act as stepping stones towards their ultimate goal… cities in the sea around the world.
So far, over 700 start-ups expressed interest in working from the boat, which will also offer housing and recreational services. They now have more than 1100 individuals from 336 companies and 64 countries who have officially applied, with several committed legal and venture capital partners.
As far as we can tell, as long as all the productive work is done on the ship and entrepreneurs are only coming onto the mainland for meetings and such, it’s perfectly legal.
But of course, they plan on using this seed investment to work out all of the nitty-gritty policy details needed to be tackled before leasing or buying a ship. Once they get to that stage, they will seek a much larger round of financing. The team continues to raise capital, build logistics and infrastructure and waitlist a deluge of interested start-ups.
Target date for the Blueseed launch is the second quarter of 2014, provided that $18M more is raised. Given that Blueseed plans to have accelerator programs that take equity in startups, which have the option of then going back to Silicon Valley to set up camp… now may be the time to invest in Blueseed.
You can send them a message at this link.