Coming Soon: Floating Colony for Silicon Valley Start-Ups?

Project would welcome foreign entrepreneurs onto offshore cruise ship

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2013 4:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – Silicon Valley can be a tough place for foreign tech entrepreneurs to put down roots—so some local businessmen are suggesting they float instead. Max Marty and Dario Mutabdzija intend to set up a floating colony, in the form of a cruise ship 12 miles offshore in international waters. The vessel would theoretically allow the entrepreneurs to work on startups without needing work visas. All they'd need would be business tourist visas to let them ferry over to the mainland a few times a week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Right now, Washington allows just 65,000 temporary work visas each year. As a way around the problem, Marty and Mutabdzija developed the colony idea, called Blueseed, in 2011. They hope to inaugurate the project next year, assuming the feds approve. Already, more than 380 firms from 68 countries have applied for a spot with Blueseed, which would host people for six months to a year. But there could be troubled waters ahead for the project. "Homeland Security is simply not going to be wild about foreign nationals living on a foreign flag cruise ship coming and going in the US on a regular basis with the obvious goal of avoiding US laws," says a law professor.

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs want to open doors for foreign tech experts.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs want to open doors for foreign tech experts.   (Shutterstock)
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