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French company launches beachside tech accelerator to foster aquatic innovation

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Of all the great metaphors provided to us by Mother Nature, perhaps none is more poignant than the sea. Vast, unknowable, and infinitely full of possibilities, the ocean has inspired many a legend. And if a new French startup accelerator has its way, it’ll also inspire many legendary companies.

Taking the idea of a room with a view to new heights, the accelerator, aptly named Blue Builder, is located in the Saint-Jean-de-Luz along the southeastern coast of France, hopes to attract a specific kind of entrepreneur. In particular, the accelerator is looking for individuals with grand notions about devices or services that can be employed in a whole slew of water sports. And what better way to inspire innovation than to place aspiring entrepreneurs right next to their ideal environment: the ocean?

It’s a clever idea, to be sure. After all, founder Benjamin Böhle-Roitelet notes, makers should be fully immersed in the lives and lifestyles of their target audiences. And considering that Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a veritable haven for surfers, entrepreneurs who are lucky enough to be accepted into his accelerator should have plenty of willing beta testers.

Not only does Böhle-Roitelet hope to foster an environment that is inherently inspirational, but he also “wants to focus on quality of life for everyone involved,” VentureBeat reports. Indeed, the founder hopes that having a beachfront accelerator will alleviate some of the stress that often accompanies the early stages of starting a company. And if feeling the sand between your toes doesn’t force you to take a deep breath, nothing will.

Currently, Blue Builder owns around 2,000 square meters of real estate and will feature prototyping studios and workshops, which will allow play with various materials, including flexible polymers, metal, wood, and resins.

Branding itself as the “first startup accelerator focused on ocean, surf, and action sports,” Blue Builder is actually the second accelerator Böhle-Roitelet has helped found. The first was the Ekito accelerator, based in Tououse.

So if you’ve an idea that’s water-centric, consider heading over to Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Even if your idea goes bust, you may be able to get in some serious R&R while you’re at it.

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