Co-founder of Jazztel, creator of Viatel, Ya.com or Fon, the relapsing entrepreneur Martin Varsawsky surprised in the auditorium of the Madrid campus with the idea of his new project: Prelude Fertility, with which he wants to provoke a second sexual revolution by completely decoupling relationships from reproduction, as was the case in the 70s with the use of the pill.
But the problem is different now and he described it as “very serious for the future of mankind”. It arises from new family models and motherhood and fatherhood in old age, so much so that they transcend the natural cycle of factors. In other words, the problem isn’t in the oven, it’s in the sourdough. From the age of 35, 1 in 3 couples have fertility problems. However, each of them could enjoy parenthood without the risk of pregnancy complications or consequences for the baby if the embryo were carried to term with young eggs and sperm. The solution: freeze early and save for the time or the adult desire to have children. “I’m not saying you have to have kids late, I’m saying you can,” he warned.
As a second step, he suggested freezing the embryos and genetically sequencing them to detect some of the more than 250 congenital diseases we can transmit to our children. Those showing a change are discarded – if this is the wish of the parents – and the healthy ones are retained. It’s not that he doesn’t like children, in fact he’s 6 so he says he knows about diseases until he knows the child will be born healthy.
a new paradigm
Nothing new so far, and even less so in Spain, which, as Varsavsky recalled, is a world leader in fertility techniques, with an average of 80,000 in vitro fertilizations (IVF) performed annually. Then what is the novelty that the renowned entrepreneur brings? “Transfer to fertility the techniques already used for cases of infertility,” he replied. “Of course you can do that and there are good clinics that do it, but only occasionally. No one has addressed it in the order I do it or do it systematically,” he said, explaining the paradigm shift that the Prelude Method, whose mission is to “help build families,” could bring. .
A step towards equality
In addition to avoiding a “painful” fatherhood and anticipating potential setbacks, the method has benefits for women who would lose the urgency — which men don’t have — before the 35 later. On gender parity, he added the possibility of having children in any family model, including homosexuals, or fighting secondary infertility – one-child parents – and which he defined as “an epidemic” particularly affecting Spain.
The development of the project goes through the opening of large-scale clinics, the only way in which it can achieve its goals, but it will require an investment of millions. For this reason, and as on previous occasions, Martin Varsavsky will lead the project from the United States, where he will seek funding. “There are quite a lot of crazy visionaries in Spain, but there’s a lack of crazy investors that you can find in Silicon Valley,” he said.
Eventually, he recalled that of all the companies he had started, the only one that had failed him was one that had to do with cloud computing. “Undoubtedly the fault was mine, not cloud computing which has brought about a paradigm shift and we’ve all already put data in the cloud. Now I have faith that Prelude will work, which is something like that cloud biology”.