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Juan Enriquez on "the iron curtain around IPOs" stifling innovation

Posted by: Helen Walters on February 19, 2009

Venture capitalist Juan Enriquez gave a great presentation at this year’s TED conference (I embedded the video below the jump; it’s well worth a look when you have a spare 18.5 minutes.) I caught up with him during one of the breaks, and a few things he said really struck me. In particular, this snippet, in which he discusses the perils of a frozen IPO market (or, as he described rather more lyrically, “the iron curtain that’s gone around any initial public offering.”) Also in this clip, Enriquez’ candid assessment that innovation can only be sustained in a culture that supports start ups, immigration and transparency. And his reminder that the stakes couldn’t be any higher.

Reader Comments

Maria Popova

February 20, 2009 10:43 AM

I had the fortune of seeing TED 2009 live. Juan Enriquez was definitely one of the business highlights for me, along with Dan Ariely and Barry Schwartz.

In fact, this year's conference made me realize there were a number of common tangents between the different speakers' talks, ideas very different by discipline but similar by cultural context. Which inspired me to launch a modest pet project, paying tribute to TED. (Forgive the plug – but if anyone's interested, it's located at

I also noticed Enriquez, despite his completely different background, had a lot of overlap with Liz Coleman's talk on education in terms of the future of innovation. Interesting.

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