SUNNYVALE, CALIF. (AP) - You’ve heard of tech companies starting in a Silicon Valley garage. What about on a ship?
That’s the idea being floated by a California startup that wants to dock a vessel off the coast to house foreign entrepreneurs who have dreams of creating the next Google but can’t get visas to work in the United States.
Sunnyvale-based Blueseed Co. says current immigration rules can sink promising ventures and torpedo innovation and job creation.
The ship aims to provide a remedy by giving foreign entrepreneurs a place to build their companies only a short boat ride from high tech’s hub.
Marty, the son of Cuban immigrants, thought of the ship after listening to international classmates of his at the University of Miami business school lament about having to leave the U.S. after graduation.
Politicians have wrangled with the issue, but efforts to change the system have stalled.
Last July, President Barack Obama said during a Twitter town hall he wanted to make sure talented people who studied in the U.S. were able to stay to create jobs.
“We don’t want to pay for training them here and then having them benefit other countries,” Obama said.
A bill to address so-called brain-drain was reintroduced this year by Sens. Mark Udall, D-Colo., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind. The Startup Visa Act would allow immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign graduates from U.S. universities to appeal for a two-year visa “on condition that they secure financing from a qualified U.S. investor and can demonstrate the ability to create American jobs.”
From cruise ships to oil rigs to military aircraft carriers, there are several examples of individuals living and working on ships. This one would accommodate about 1,000 people and be docked 12 miles southwest of San Francisco Bay, in international waters.
Residents would be ferried ashore with temporary business or tourist visas, which are easier to get, to meet with investors, collaborators, partners and others. Mutabdzija said the ability to have face-to-face meetings cannot be underestimated when trying to gain trust _ and secure funds _ from investors.View Entire Story
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