Blueseed: A Startup That Plans to House Would-Be Immigrant Innovators 12 Nautical Miles from Silicon Valley


Max Marty sees a potential market in what he considers flawed U.S. immigration policies. Marty is the founder and CEO of Blueseed, a startup that plans to create a "high-tech visa-free entrepreneurship and technology incubator on an ocean vessel in international waters."

Because of the current U.S. immigration system, says Blueseed, "bold and creative entrepreneurs from around the world aren't given the chance to come to Silicon Valley and develop the technologies that could be creating jobs and propelling the economy forward." So the company plans to house these potential innovators near Silicon Valley on a floating vessel in international waters near the San Francisco Bay Area.

Most so-called "high-skilled" immigrants (scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and the like) come to the United States under the H-1B visa program. Congress caps the number of visas issued at 65,000 each year and allows an additional 20,000 exceptions for immigrants with advanced U.S. degrees.

Last week U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services announced that the Fiscal Year 2012 cap was reached, which was two months ahead of last year's pace. ComputerWorld noted that before the recession, the cap was routinely reached in just a week. It took only one day in 2007.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Marty previously worked for the Peter Thiel-funded Seasteading Institute, as did Blueseed's two other staffers. Ars Technica's Timothy B. Lee spoke to Blueseed's founder, who "acknowledged that it would be better for America to reform immigration laws and thereby make his company unnecessary."

Marty envisions the Blueseed ship as a floating incubator. They'll charge rent, but also take a small equity stake in each startup that comes on board. He hopes to cultivate a network of investors to help identify promising entrepreneurs. Blueseed will also accept applications directly from would-be entrepreneurs. Marty says they've already had expressions of interest from around the world.

Read the entire Ars interview here.

Read Shikha Dalmia on "Obama's immigration distraction," low-skilled immigration, and H-1B visas here.

And below, watch Matt Welch vehemently advocate MOAR immigration, specifically of the H-1B variety, while wearing what appears to be a pre-tied bow tie:

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  1. While I am thrilled by the concept, I think this project is doomed to failure: the costs of living at sea are very high.

    They would be better off building incubators on land or designing virtual workspaces.

    1. still need mexicans to clean & lube

    2. Have you seen the costs of living in San Francisco? It’d probably be an improvement.

  2. This is Michael Bay-level stupid, and will utterly fail.

    1. “Michael-Bay-level” – don’t you think that’s a little harsh?

      I put it more at a Lady-GaGa-Level stupid.


        1. It’s always refreshing to see that rectal is as obsessed with me as always.

          If only I could get her to become obsessed with you or ProL instead.

            1. It’s so, so true.

              1. +3487563485763 me

                1. +10 more for me

                  1. On her original post, she claimed 10 points for you while spoofing you. Do you get 20 points then?

                    1. I get 100 points. 10 x 10.

                    2. +penis me (in the mouth)

                    3. in a man’s mouth? eeuuuwwwwwwwww……

    2. I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark when he made Pearl Harbor
      I miss you more than that movie missed the point, and that’s an awful lot girl.
      ‘Cause Pearl Harbor sucked, and I really miss you

      1. Missed the point? Really? Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett turned back the entire Japanese Navy and Air Force at Pearl Harbor, or else they would have left the West Coast of the US in ruins.

    3. I don’t know if I’m addressing Episiarch or Martia the Chameloid, but Michael Bay spins gold. That is all.

  3. I have it on good progressive authority that attempting to escape the various clutches of the state by going offshore is treason.

    1. If this be treason, then let us make the most of it!


      *waves pirate flag purchased from Spencer’s Gifts*

      1. My programming might become corrupt and accidentally cause me to fire missiles at this thing.

        1. Relax little buddy, we don’t have to pretend anymore.

          1. *targets Messicans and purrs*

    2. It’s a “loophole” in the immigration laws, I’m sure they will tell you.

  4. I’d love to see the business plan. What kind of capital and cash flow will they need to (ahem) stay afloat?

  5. We need to do the following:

    1. Compose a list of all of the high-paying jobs in the USA (anything paying over $100k).

    2. Find individuals in the third world that can do these jobs for food, water, and shelter on a ship.

    3. Fire all of the American workers.

    This way the JOB MAKERS will have greater profits and will be able to hire the unemployed Americans to work for much less.

  6. The truth is, regardless of how much libertarians and conservatives really hate the way the USA is run today with all of its progressive policies, immigrants want live here.

    However, once you guys manage to successfully eliminate all of the safety nets, close the public schools, and convert america into that ‘Rugged-Individual’ state you guys have been dreaming about where we have a free-market with little-to-no government intervention (like they have in Mexico and Guatamala), why would immigrants wanna come?

    1. Because if they aren’t in the US they are terrorists. Barry and Congress said I can kill all the terrorists I want.

    2. Oh I dunno…the same reason people have been wanting to come for the last 300+ years to this continent? What is it with progressives and this mindset that the only reason things are they way they are now in terms of propserity or the desire to emigrate to this country is the result of their policies. News flash, American history of prosperity, economic growth, and immigration doesn’t go back to just the last 60+ years.

    3. The lack of pogroms is nice.

  7. If this works, I will be outfitting a party ship to come out and “service” the Blueseed ship. We’ll have the clubs and prostitutes and blow and whatever else they need for blowing off steam after all that hard thinking…. Who want’s to go in with me?

    1. My fancy restaurant ship will follow you. We can look out for each other in case of mishaps. Will trade staff meals for discounts on drugs and whores.

      1. I think we have a plan for the first Patri Friedmanesque SeaStead

      2. My ship will have ONLY the Second Amendment. You can shoot at floating targets with high-powered automatic weapons for as long as you can afford the ammunition. Just make sure no one is downrange first.

        1. I assume you will be selling defense services also. What kind of anti-drone systems will you be implementing?

    2. Sorry, Max does not approve of your business plan…

      Some past seasteading proposals involved activities, such as gambling and prostitution… Blueseed will be different, and will discourage such activities from occurring onboard. “Everyone who comes on board will have to be checked,” he said. “There are certain things we don’t want on board.”

      1. Oh man, can’t SOMEPLACE on Earth have no rules?

      2. Neighboring boats. Surely they wont have a problem with the gambling boat next door?

      3. It’s a party ship that floats nearby. All the Blueseed residents need is a way to get from A to B…and that’s where I come in with my dingy!

        1. Yo, fuck dingies, bust out those inflatable emergency slides. Run some water down it, with the bottom end terminating in a receiving pool.

    3. Fucking stole my idea. I guess I’ll have to share.

  8. More utopian scheming from leftist Reason libertarians.

  9. I didn’t know things at reason were so bad that Matt had to take a second job waiting tables.

    1. It looks like Hartmann is getting impatient for Welch to get off the phone and bring his car around.

  10. I thought New Zealand was already filling this role.

  11. Marty envisions the Blueseed ship as a floating incubator. They’ll charge rent, but also take a small equity stake in each startup that comes on board.

    And when he says “comes on board”, he means it. Literally.

  12. Put some fucking solar panels on it, throw in a corner suite for an administration crony or two, and you could probably get the feds to pay for it.

  13. “I can’t get a job…

    …because they offered me one for 60k but I’m worth 90k.”

    Anyone who says such a thing is quite simply a liar. Anyone who owes 100k and turns down a salary of 60k is irresponsible. American universities might benefit their students by offering classes in “Reality Math”. Of course, even American universities won’t be able to afford such offerings until they drop their offerings of classes such as “Cloud Coo-coo Economics”.

    Hartmann knows full well that the bulk of the 30k difference in salary is due to the government regulatory burden involved in hiring an American worker. Hartmann wants to return to the era of brilliant leaders like FDR who thought it better for the US Army Air Corps to deliver air mail. I digress.

  14. While your immigration point may be valid but DAMMIT Welch, I put in my drink order over 20 minutes ago!!

  15. Can’t “scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and the like” work remotely? Seems like it would be easier to create “virtual startups” than to bring everyone together on a freakin’ barge out in the ocean.

    Moreover, many of those high-skill foreigners want to bring over their families for the relative freedom and educational opportunities etc. They’re not just coming here for the paycheck. Somehow, I don’t see the appeal of the Tech Barge for those folks.

  16. Thats not Matt Welch. Thats a ventriloquists’ dummy. You can tell by how the lips don’t quite sync up with what he’s saying. And because the bow tie is in fact keeping his head attached.

    That said, this host is a screaming douchebag. All it takes is a brief perusal of some data to see that immigration=broader economic growth for all. Win=Win. Ergo, make it *easier*, more legal, less complicated, less politicised.

    to wit =

  17. Most of the reasonable questions have been answered in our FAQ –

    1. Can I get a ruling on whether I have to take a drink for use of “reasonable” by these guys?

      Oh, and good luck to you guys. Anything that screws the H1-B system is fine by me.

  18. Wasn’t this a plot in a movie or book where it turned out that all the hackers on the boat were really working on someone’s evil plan for world domination? If not, I’m copyrighting it.

  19. Reason fails to note that this idea is derived from my winning (2nd place) entry in last year’s Seasteading Institute Business Plan competition. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Look, proof:…..econdplace


      1. Congrats. Did you give away rights to your idea?

        1. Creative Commons Attribution

  20. The video interviewer at the bottom is a travesty. Protectionist nonsense at its worst. Zero-sum reasoning in economics is a huge fallacy that leads to all the nonsense of both protectionists and left-leaning big-government social justice types of all sorts.

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