French company launches beachside tech accelerator to foster aquatic innovation

nasa lidar laser plankton coral reef ocean
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.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Don’t get burned! How to back crowdfunding projects the smart way

In the world of crowdfunding, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. There's a million reasons why a project might fail. But with this handy guide, you'll be able to spot the signs of a sketchy project and decrease your chances of getting…
Emerging Tech

This very talented robotic leg learned to walk all by itself

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a robotic limb capable of walking without preprogrammed knowledge of the task. It’s an impressive feat that could help future robots navigate the world independently.
Emerging Tech

Opportunity’s final image is a haunting panorama of the Martian surface

The Opportunity mission to Mars may be no more, but the rover's legacy lives on. Now NASA has released the final image captured by Opportunity, and it's a stunning panorama of the Martian surface.
Emerging Tech

A lunar time capsule: 50-year-old moon rock samples to be opened for study

Nearly 50 years after the Apollo missions to the Moon, NASA is breaking open samples of Moon rock for the first time. Samples collected from Apollo missions 15, 16, and 17 have been preserved and never before exposed to Earth's atmosphere.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous image of the Cosmic Bat nebula leaves us starry-eyed

The "Cosmic Bat" nebula has been captured in beautiful detail by the European Southern Observatory. Formally known as NGC 1788, the nebula is two thousand light-years away in a dark corner of the Orion constellation.
Emerging Tech

Super telescope captures supermassive black holes forming billions of years ago

The Subaru Telescope in Hawaii has captured evidence of supermassive black holes forming in the ancient universe. Astronomers discovered 83 quasars powered by supermassive black holes from billions of years ago.
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Emerging Tech

Desk lamps take on a new task by converting their light to power

What if we could charge devices using light from indoor sources like desk lamps? A group of scientists working on a technology called organic photovoltaics (OPVs) aim to do just that.
Emerging Tech

Body surrogate robot helps people with motor impairments care for themselves

A team from Georgia Tech has come up with an assistant robot to help people who have severe motor impairments to perform tasks like shaving, brushing their hair, or drinking water.
Emerging Tech

New Hubble image displays dazzling Messier 28 globular cluster

Messier 28 is a group of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius, located 18,000 light-years from our planet. Thousands of stars are packed tightly together in this sparkling image.
Emerging Tech

Cosmic dust bunnies: Scientists find unexpected ring around Mercury

A pair of scientists searching for a dust-free region near the Sun have made an unexpected discovery: a vast cosmic dust ring millions of miles wide around the tiny planet Mercury.