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


COLUMBIA, S.C., November 21, 2011 - - 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 author of Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miraclewill answer as the keynote speaker at the SmartState Program's inaugural national conferenceRealizing 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.

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.

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.

SmartState National Conference 

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. Visit

About Saul Singer
Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at The Jerusalem Post. Before immigrating to Israel, Singer served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. 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.