Incubator to put startups on water to avoid U.S. visa issues

It won’t be launching until later next year, but a handful of Canadian firms have already said they would like to take part in an incubator program that will likely reside on a cruise ship instead of a Silicon Valley office building.

Blueseed on Monday released the results of a survey that showed the interest so far among budding entrepreneurs in the concept of a floating startup community that would sit on international waters as a way of avoiding troublesome work visas to operate in the United States. Canada only makes up five per cent of the total involved so far, and much of the interest outside of the U.S. comes from Australia and India.

The survey said 36 per cent of those surveyed would immediately move to Blueseed if it met their needs today. Besides offering accommodation for startup teams, a daily ferry service would be able to shuttle entrepreneurs back and forth to meet with investors, customers and partners using a business or tourist visa.

Besides easing visa hurdles, 14 per cent of respondents said the prospect of getting media attention and the “coolness” factor would drive their decision to embark on Blueseed.

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