Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur and founder of seven companies in the past 20 years. A sought-after speaker around the world, Martin draws upon his experiences as a highly successful businessman to show audiences how to use new technologies, innovation and creativity to develop business potential.
In 1984, while still in college, Varsavsky started his first business, Urban Capital Corporation, one of the early leaders of the loft movement in downtown Manhattan. This was soon followed in 1986 by Medicorp Services, a Canadian biotechnology company, a pioneer in AIDS and PSA testing. His third business, Viatel Ltd., Varsavsky’s first venture into the world of telecom, was founded in 1990. This company is best known for inventing call back and building the first pan European fiber optic network ahead of liberalization. In 1998, he started Jazztel Telecomunicaciones (Jazztel), Spain’s second largest publicly traded telecom operator. In 1999 he founded Ya.com, Spain’s third largest internet web site/DSL provider that includes the second largest Spanish language web agency www.viajar.com.
Martin Varsavsky’s current venture is Fon. With over 4 million hotspots, Fon is the largest WiFi network in the world. The company is headquartered in Madrid Spain but its customers are worldwide, in Asia, EU and the USA. Its investors include Atomico, British Telecom, Coral Group, Skype, Google, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
Martin also engages in not for profit activities. Martin manages the Varsavsky Foundation and is best known as the founder of two large educational projects in Latin America – Educ.ar (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile), and the Safe Democracy Foundation. He was Ambassador at Large of Argentina from 2001 to 2005. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and is a board member of Instituto de Empresa, Spain’s leading business school, where he has been teaching entrepreneurship for the past eight years.
Martin Varsavsky has written numerous articles on business and international relations that have been published in several international publications including El Pais and Newsweek. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences around the world and an active blogger. He is the recipient of various honors and rewards among them European Telecommunications Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998, ECTA´s European Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999, Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos, 2000, Spanish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and Pickering Prize from Columbia University 2004.
Martin Varsavsky received his BA from New York University, and holds a MA in International Affairs and a MA in Business Administration from Columbia University. In his spare time, Martin enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, piloting, photography and sailing. Martin Varsavsky is married to Nina and has five children.
An accomplished speaker, Martin is in great demand by decision makers from all fields eager to maximize their performance levels.
- The ICT industry
- Constant innovation – the way forward
- Entrepreneurship – risks and rewards
- Education – a great task ahead