The libertarian contingent in Silicon Valley has long been fascinated by the possibilities of living independently in international waters, where taxes can be avoided and talented developers can be imported from around the world to work in a kind of floating sweatshop without the hindrance of securing an HB-1 visa. So it’s no surprise that two entrepreneurs have gotten interest from more than 240 startups for a visa-free tech incubator on a boat 12 miles off the coast of Northern California, which hopes to foster startups until they’re large enough that U.S. Citizen and Immigration services “takes them seriously,” as cofounder Max Marty told InformationWeek. Followers on AngelList are already calling it the “Visa Boat” and “jurisdictional arbitrage.”
The project is called Blueseed, and rents will range from $1,200 for a shared cabin to $3,000 for the best single-person room. Blueseed, still in the “concept vessels” stage, raised $50,000 in the fall. The founders hope to launch in the third quarter of 2013, if all goes well, and will provide Internet access, 24-hour dining and other modern conveniences as well as the expected startup perks such as a game room and gym. “Silicon Valley’s visa-free offshore startup community,” says the website.
Of course, they’ll need a whole lot more than that measly $50K. Paging Peter Thiel.