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Martin Varsavsky
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Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur, founder of seven companies in the past 20 years.

In 1984, while still in college, Martin 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., Martin’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.

MV’s best-known ventures were founded during the last decade. In 1998 MV started Jazztel Telecomunicaciones (Jazztel), Spain’s second largest publicly traded telecom operator. In 1999 he founded, Spain’s third largest internet web site/DSL provider that includes the second largest Spanish language web agency But not all of MV´s companies were successful. In 2000 he started Germany’s largest ASP, Einsteinet, and the company was sold in 2003 at no return to him or investors.

Martin’s current venture is Fon, founded in November in 2005, a community-empowered company dedicated to building the world’s largest global WiFi network bottom up, spreading the power of WiFi around the world, with over seven million hot spots by 2012. Fon attracted Skype, eBay and Google as partners and quickly became the largest WiFi community in the world.

Martin Varsavsky also engages not for profit activities. For the past 8 years, he has been teaching entrepreneurship at the Instituto de Empresa, Spain’s leading business school. Martin Varsavsky also manages the Varsavsky Foundation best known as founder of two large educational projects in Latin America, (Argentina) and EducarChile (Chile) and the Safe Democracy Foundation. MV was Ambassador at Large of Argentina between 2001 up to 2005. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and is board member of the Instituto de Empresa.

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 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, and Spanish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, Pickering Prize from Columbia University 2004.

Martin Varsavsky received his BA from New York University, and holds an MA in International Affairs and an MA in Business Administration from Columbia University.

In his spare time, Martin enjoys cycling, piloting, cooking asados and sailing.

Entries by Martin Varsavsky

Die deutsche Großzügigkeit in der Flüchtlingspolitik

(11) Comments | Posted August 30, 2015 | 10:35 AM

Wie können Deutsche so großzügig bei der Aufnahme von Flüchtlingen in Europa sein? Deutschland wird ungefähr eine Million Flüchtlinge aufnehmen, vor allem Menschen aus Syrien. Syrer: Menschen, die größtenteils kein Deutsch sprechen und deren Kultur so vollkommen anders ist. Menschen, die niemals in einer Demokratie gelebt haben und...

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Understanding German Generosity

(6) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 3:34 PM

How can Germans be so generous vis-a-vis taking refugees in Europe? Germany will probably take around a million refugees, especially Syrians. Syrians, people who mostly speak no German, and whose culture is so different, people who have never lived in a democracy and who are currently absolutely destitute and desperate....

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Juan Carlos the King, and Juan Carlos the Man

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 9:50 PM

I met King Juan Carlos on a few occasions. I also spent a couple of hours with him alone at his office. And what I saw was a great man who was trapped in a lifetime job he did not choose, a person who had to fight his own instincts...

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Por qué merece la pena hacer buenos viajes con tu hijo de dos años

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2014 | 4:00 AM

Soy padre de seis hijos pero no psicólogo infantil así que lo que voy a exponer viene de mi experiencia y no de mis estudios. Aun así pienso que es igualmente válido. Es sobre la pregunta que una vez me hizo alguien sobre para qué necesita un niño de dos...

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Why It Makes Sense to Take Awesome Trips With Your 2-Year-Old

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 10:25 AM

I am a father of six children, not a child psychologist. So what I am about to say comes from experience not academia. But still I think it's valid. And it refers to a question that somebody asked me that went like this. Why should you expose a 2-year-old to...

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Money Can't Buy You Time

(1) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 10:44 AM


When I was a student dreaming of making it as an entrepreneur, I imagined that success would give me a world of opportunity in which so many new possibilities were open to me. Well a few billion dollar exits later, this...

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A Wearable Connected Life Companion

(0) Comments | Posted January 31, 2014 | 4:38 AM

Think of all the features that iPhone had when it launched that made it revolutionary. Make a list. Now think of all the features that Android brought on top of those. Help me make a list because other than open source I can't think of any. The key ones, glass...

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El aborto y el matrimonio

(8) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 12:32 AM

España acaba de iniciar el trámite para la aprobación de una de las leyes del aborto más restrictivas de su democracia. Estoy en contra de esta ley. Creo que es necesaria una educación sexual y del uso de métodos anticonceptivos para evitar embarazos no deseados. Pero si todo...

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The Communicators and the Strategists

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 9:17 AM

I have been fortunate to meet some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world and I would like to share an observation with you.

The most successful entrepreneurs belong to two very different groups. The communicators and the strategists. When you meet communicators, you are in awe. Examples are...

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On Why Israel Appears to the World As an Aggressive Nation

(224) Comments | Posted March 3, 2013 | 2:22 PM

Many wonder why Israel as a nation appears to be so aggressive, to invade Gaza and Lebanon when attacked, to bomb Syria, Iraq and possibly now Iran when threatened by the Iranian nuclear bomb program. In general many question the way Israel violently reacts to provocation. The answer may lie...

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The Auditive Internet: A Rising Trend

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 8:55 AM

Recently there has been an increased focus on our barriers to multitasking. For example, imagine yourself driving as you receive a Twitter update or an SMS on your cellphone. Without a driverless car, your eyes must be focused on the road with your hands on the steering wheel, not on...

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Sin crítica no hay cambio

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2012 | 7:51 AM


Viví de pequeño en Argentina, después en Estados Unidos durante 18 años, más tarde otros 17 en España y ahora acabo de regresar a Estados Unidos. Este artículo va a tocar un solo tema: El aguante a la crítica. A la crítica que es el primer...

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Google Chromebook, mi reseña

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2012 | 8:18 AM

google android

Llevo una hora probando el Google Chromebook de Samsung.

Costando sólo 249 dólares no hay mucho de lo que quejarse. Es una pieza de hardware bastante decente por un precio súper barato. Si la competencia es, digamos, un MacBook Air de 1.000 dólares,...

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Sin Crítica no hay Cambio

(4) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 3:07 AM

Viví de pequeño en Argentina, después en Estados Unidos durante 18 años, más tarde otros 17 en España y ahora acabo de regresar a Estados Unidos. Este artículo va a tocar un solo tema: El aguante a la crítica. A la crítica que es el primer paso para el cambio,...

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So What's Wrong With The States?

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 11:53 AM

The USA is a great nation for entrepreneurship and innovation, it has the best science in the world, the most creativity in the arts, it is the number one economy in the world, it has an energy unrivaled by other nations and we have chosen to move to this great...

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El iPad Mini y la Microsoft Surface

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 8:09 AM

microsoft surface

En medio del huracán Sandy, cuando más de un millón de hogares no tienen electricidad y con downtown NY apagado no se como pero me llegaron dos gadgets que había pedido, el iPad Mini y la Microsoft Surface. Ayer los estuve probando y...

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The Rich Are Frequently Hated in Europe and for Good Reason

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 5:18 PM

I lived in NYC for 18 years, then in Madrid, Spain, for 17 years and as of three weeks ago I have been back in New York City. While I started my life as the middle class son of a university professor, I was lucky enough to become a serial...

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The European Startup Scene Is on the Rise, With London and Berlin in the Lead

(3) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 9:06 AM

Europe has been associated with economic decline for decades. Indeed, many have written off Europe as a continent incapable of innovation, watching it fall behind North America and Asia. However, in terms of GDP, the European Union is still the largest economy in the world. The real GDP...

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Como hacer un negocio con la sanidad española

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 10:05 AM


Primero una anécdota. Cuando vine a vivir a España, desde Estados Unidos, y creé Jazztel en 1998, se me ocurrió ofrecerles a los empleados un seguro médico, algo muy norteamericano. Les pregunté si preferían que Jazztel les pagara un seguro médico privado, o les diera el...

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Europe: United We Stand, Divided We Fall

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 8:38 AM

Have you been reading about German chancellor Angela Merkel's rigidity in maintaining the single currency? Do you see how terrible the future looks not only for the periphery of Europe but for Germany as well? Is it clear that as we stand we are headed for the perfect...

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