By Max Marty
Two years ago, on July 31st, 2011, Blueseed was announced as the first commercial seasteading venture. It was exhilarating to kick off such a monumental endeavor, to literally go into the uncharted waters of a one-of-a-kind startup. Two years later, I have nostalgic memories of my first pitch, which was filmed by one of my co-founders with a smartphone camera so shaky, that we never made it public until now.
In these two years, we’ve had our highs and our lows. We’ve also had the chance to make many new friends, too many to possibly name them all here.
In fall 2011, we had our first financial backers, angel investors from Silicon Valley, without whom Blueseed wouldn’t be here today (Vipul Naik, Jeff Chan, Peter McCluskey, Marc Joffe and others), and this past month we welcomed our most recent investors from the Bitcoin space, including Owen Gunden, and Tradehill founder Jered Kenna, who are helping us push forward. Along the way, Mike Maples from Floodgate, Trevor Kienzle from Correlation Ventures, and Mr. Xu Xiaoping and Victor Wang from ZhenFund Beijing have joined, as well as other investors from various corners of the world (Kevin Henrikson from the Valley, or The Romanian Institute of Science and Technology, for example), and champions who’ve helped us reach them.
We’ve sparked worldwide interest and have enjoyed global front page press coverage; newspapers, TV stations and websites have talked about Blueseed, from one corner of the world to another; from Canada to New Zealand, and from Chile to Japan. Equally diverse is the geographic distribution of our partners – startup incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces; maritime companies; venture capital partners; law firms; coaching and training organizations; and others with missions as diverse as growing produce on board, inside repurposed shipping containers, or making sure everyone on board will be fit and healthy through personalized wellness programs.
We’ve also had strong corporate partners who’ve helped us wade through the jungles of immigration law, investigate ships, identify connectivity solutions, plan logistics, and find new green maritime technologies. We’ve met with legislators, local and from Washington. We’ve formed connections circling the world, from Singapore to South Africa to Brazil to Canada and back to Europe and China, and going through the Bitcoin cyberspace.
We’ve had thousands of people write in with ideas, questions, or to apply for a job or as an entrepreneur. As I’m writing this, almost 1500 entrepreneurs from 470 startups in 70 countries have applied to come on board. Others have joined our roster of startup mentors, or have become our advisors – and they are some of the most prominent in their fields, such as the former Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the Nobel Prize co-laureate who serves as one of our environmental experts.
We’ve had a crew of volunteers helping us raise awareness of Blueseed, and move the project forward. From designing our website, to conducting environmental strategy studies under our advisor Joe Nash, building scale models of our concept ships, retrofit plans for existing ships, or new interior renderings, to painting their custom cars with the Blueseed theme (check out the video!), these enthusiasts show that we’ve touched a deep chord in the psyche of many people; that of creating a new frontier, and being at its sharp but breathtaking edge.
Blueseed is the poster-child for a new sort of entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship which dares to address political problems using creative, voluntary, win-win solutions. It is my hope that, regardless of where the Blueseed experiment takes us, it inspires entrepreneurs everywhere to look to technology and voluntary exchange to address our biggest political, social, and economic problems.
We’ve had fantastic interns, and my thanks go to Lasse Birk Olesen and Baoguang Zhai; as well as our brilliant CFO Sam Bhagwat. And I’ve had the fortune of being supported by my amazing co-founders Dario Mutabdzija and Dan Dascalescu.
It has become clear to me that in order to make Blueseed a success we will need to stay lean until we bring in our two million dollar series A, itself a necessary step on the path to launch. Staying lean will give us the runway and time we need to reach the investors that can make this raise, and the Blueseed project, a reality. As such, I will be officially stepping over to the role of Chairman of the Board at Blueseed. This will allow me to stay at the helm of Blueseed’s strategy and shape it’s vision, while freeing my day to day time to break ground on a new startup. Blueseed will continue to be a passion and ongoing project of mine, and I intend to rejoin day to day operations at Blueseed at a future date, perhaps bringing the necessary funds along with me from the success of my other endeavor.
To those mentioned above, as well as to everyone else who’s helped us along the way ‐