Bestselling Author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle to Speak at SmartState™ Program’s National Conference

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Saul Singer, author of Start-up Nation is the keynote speaker of South Carolina's SmartState Program national conference in Charleston, SC, December 4-6. Get insight into building an innovation-driven economy.

How did a 60-year-old nation with a population of just 7.1 million people, in a constant state of war since its founding, with limited natural resources, become the top foreign economic powerhouse on NASDAQ, with 63 companies listed in 2009?

That is the question Saul Singer, best-selling co-author of Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle, will answer as the keynote speaker at the SmartState Program’s inaugural national conference, Realizing a Knowledge-Based Economy, December 4-6 at the Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C. Singer will speak at the Monday night reception at the Charleston Place Events Center, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Opher Aviran, Consul General of Israel to the Southeast, will provide formal greetings from the State of Israel prior to Mr. Singer’s keynote address, along with short remarks regarding the State of Israel’s success as a knowledge-based economy.

Hosted by the SmartState Program, the precedent-setting conference will showcase both national and state leaders from academia, business, and government who provide insight into knowledge-based economic development. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to network with South Carolina’s SmartState Endowed Chairs, more than 40 world-class research scientists and engineers in fields such as automotive engineering, biomedicine, future fuels, and advanced materials, and other areas of critical importance to the global economy. (The SmartState Program is responsible for $1.2 billion in external investment in the South Carolina economy and the creation of nearly 7,000 jobs over the past nine years.)

Singer’s book, Start-Up Nation, which he co-authored with Dan Senor, was ranked fifth on the business best-seller list of the New York Times in 2010 and also ranked on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.

At the SmartState Program National Conference, Singer will examine how Israel accomplished its “economic miracle,” addressing how, despite tremendous obstacles, Israel has built the world’s 24th largest economy. This includes producing more start-up companies than larger, more stable, peaceful nations such as Japan, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Canada and having a larger venture capital industry per capita that any other country in the world.

Regan Voit, Chair of the SmartState Program Review Board, says South Carolina and other states struggling to transform their economies have much to learn from Israel’s example:

“South Carolina’s SmartState Program is honored to host Mr. Singer. His insight into how to successfully build a knowledge-based economy should not be missed by entrepreneurs, investors, companies, lawmakers, and academia—anyone interested in transformational change. I invite anyone who shares the SmartState Program’s passion for economic development to attend!”

The complete conference agenda and registration information is available at
Special conference rates are available at the Charleston Place Hotel.

About the SmartState™ Program
The South Carolina SmartState™ Program was created by the South Carolina legislature in 2002 and is funded through South Carolina Education Lottery proceeds. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina, to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy. Each Center is awarded from $2 million to $5 million in State Lottery funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with non-state investment. To date, 49 Centers have been created and 41 SmartState Endowed Chairs have been appointed to lead the Centers. The SmartState Program has resulted in more than $1.2 billion dollars in non-state investment into the South Carolina economy and is responsible for the creation of more than 7,000 jobs.

About Saul Singer
Singer is a former Editorial Page Editor and columnist at the Jerusalem Post. His books include Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (co-authored with Dan Senor), as well as Confronting Jihad: Israel's Struggle and the World After 9/11. Tom Brokaw called Start-Up Nation, “a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders.” Singer has given numerous keynote addresses relating to Israel and innovation, including in Sydney, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Mumbai, Prague, Brussels (at the European Parliament), Berlin (at the German Ministry of Economics and Technology) and throughout the United States. In Israel, Singer has briefed visiting executives from, or spoken at the Israeli headquarters of, companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Xerox, Mars, General Electric, IBM, AT&T, Alcatel Lucent, Medtronic, Microsoft, HP, Orange and Dupont. Singer is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute in Jerusalem. He also serves on the advisory boards of Vintage Investment Partners, an Israeli fund of funds, and Tevel B’Tsedek, an Israeli NGO working in Nepal and Haiti. Before immigrating to Israel, Singer also served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees.

About Consul General Opher Aviran
Consul General Opher Aviran was appointed in August 2010 to serve as the Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States. Consul General Aviran joined Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1983. He has since served as the Second Secretary, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy in Rangoon, Burma; Cultural & Scientific Affairs Attache at the Embassy of Israel in The Hague, The Netherlands; and Counselor, Deputy Chief of Mission, at the Israeli Embassy in Canberra, Australia.


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