Mr. Martin Varsavsky is an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur and the founder of seven companies in the past 20 years. His current venture is FON, an innovative wi-fi start-up founded in February 2006 and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, with 100 employees located around the world. FON’s mission is to make wi-fi universal and free by creating a unified global community of members who share wireless networking. The FON Community already has close to 700,000 members and has become the world’s largest wi-fi community.
In 1984, while still in college, Mr. Varsavsky started his first business, Urban Capital Corporation, one of the early leaders of the loft movement in downtown Manhattan. This was followed in 1986 by Medicorp Services, a Canadian biotechnology company, a pioneer in AIDS and PSA testing. His third business, Viatel Ltd., a first venture into telecommunications, was founded in 1990. This company is best known for inventing call-back and building the first pan-European fiber-optic network.
In 1998 Mr. Varsavsky started Jazztel Telecomunicaciones (Jazztel), Spain’s second largest publicly traded telecom operator. In 1999 he founded Ya.com, Spain’s third largest Web site/DSL provider, which includes the second largest Spanish-language Web agency, www.viajar.com. In 2000 he started Germany’s largest application service provider, Einsteinet, but the company was sold in 2003 at no return to him or investors.