Some people it seems, will go to extreme lengths to achieve their goals. In one such case, Max Marty, co-founder and CEO of a new company called Blueseed thinks it would be a great idea to build a floating city off the coast of California to help prospective entrepreneurs get around visa problems. The idea, may not be as far-fetched as it may seem. Recently, the New York Times ran an article on the proposed project and can’t seem to find anything wrong with it.
The whole problem, and proposed solution is this: There are a lot of people from countries all over the world attending college in the United States. When they graduate, most go back to their home country, despite the fact that many would like to stay. The reason they can’t is because to stay, they need a work visa, and to get a work visa, they must have a job lined up. No job, no visa. Thus, they head home with heavy hearts. This is a problem because it represents not just a brain drain, but a drain on entrepreneurial spirit, at least according to Marty.
To get around the whole problem, Mary proposes anchoring a barge, cruise ship, or even small vessels, all tied together twelve miles off shore. That’s where the divide occurs between US and international waters. The boat or barge owners would then be legally tied to a country, say the Bahamas or the Virgin Islands which have strong laws, but not much in the way of regulation. Thus, the boats could hang around off-shore indefinitely.
There are issues of regarding the basics of life of course. Cargo boats would have to bring food and water and other essentials such as Smartphones, business suits and golf clubs. Also, small cruise liners would need to provide a taxi service for those able to gain temporary visas that would allow them to visit contacts in Silicon Valley, which is the whole point. Marty wants to allow foreigners to work with other companies in Silicon Valley, just as easily as they would were they to have an office on land. To make that happen, the ships or barges would have to of course offer full time live audo/video conference calling, Skype, cell phone services and all the other trappings of the modern office.
Marty doesn’t see any of these problems standing in his way, as a Cuban exile, he knows the hurdles foreigners face in this country and has already amassed a large wad of capital from those seeking to capitalize on his idea.
And because there are no legal entities controlling international waters, there is nothing stopping the floating city from being built. Marty says he expects the first ships or barges to set anchor sometime next year.