Inaugural Johnson Innovation Speaker Series Features Derek Lidow

October 27, 2014 at 7:09 am

Derek-Lidow-HeadshotGlobal CEO, innovator and entrepreneur Dr. Derek Lidow will spend his time meeting with entrepreneurs and local business experts, discussing opportunities for the continued strengthening of Spartanburg’s business ecosystem of support for entrepreneurs, and sharing his expertise in new enterprise development with business school students on Tuesday, October 28.

The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate is launching its inaugural Johnson Innovation Speaker Series with Lidow, who is among the world’s top experts in the electronics industry. Lidow’s contributions range from patents to value chain applications that have forever improved companies as diverse as Sony, Samsung, Philips, Goldman Sachs and IBM.

“Dr. Derek Lidow is a very successful entrepreneur who built iSuppli, a leading market research firm that he sold for $100 million in 2010 to global information leader IHS,” said Dr. Frank Rudisill, dean of the USC Upstate’s Johnson College of Business and Economics. “Having an author, world-class expert and innovator with global accomplishments as our initial speaker is of undeniable benefit to our students and the local business community.”

Students in instructor Jeff Smith’s entrepreneurship classes will glean first-hand advice from Lidow on developing and implementing the necessary skills that are required at each stage of their entrepreneural journey. Referencing his “Startup Leadership” book, Lidow will share the leadership required by organizations at varying times and how these young entrepreneurs can move forward with greater confidence and success.

Twenty entrepreneurs have an exceptional opportunity to work one-on-one with Lidow to develop leadership skills necessary as their company grows and changes at his two-hour, hands-on Startup Leadership Workshop from 4 to 6 p.m. at The Iron Yard (151 S. Daniel Morgan Avenue). Participants must register for the Startup Leadership Workshop at

“Hosting this event at the Iron Yard allows for recognition of a partnership between two of Spartanburg’s premier new venture development facilities: the University’s business incubator and the Iron Yard,” said Erin Henderson Ouzts, director of the business incubator at The George.

A Meet and Greet will be held at The George (160 E. St. John Street) from 6 to 7:30 p.m., where Lidow will sign copies of his book “Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises.” He will also share insights on topics such as ditch the pitch, finding real innovation and process development within new ventures, which have been featured in his writings for the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. To attend this free event, please visit or call (864) 494-3695.

For more information, contact Erin Ouzts at (864) 494-3695 or

About Dr. Derek Lidow

Today, Dr. Derek Lidow is giving back by teaching Entrepreneurial Leadership and Creativity, Innovation and Design at Princeton and by working with young companies and aspiring entrepreneurs. A media commentator, Lidow’s coverage to date includes The New York TimesWall Street JournalBusinessWeekForbesBloombergThe EconomistNikkeiReuters, and Taipei Times as well as many top bloggers. His degrees come from Princeton and Stanford, where he earned a Ph.D. in applied physics as a Hertz Foundation Fellow. He is based in New York City and Princeton, NJ.

About Johnson Innovation Speaker Series

The George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics’ Excellence in Innovation Series is dedicated to bringing a distinguished business professional to the University of South Carolina Upstate for the benefit of the students and the local business community. Two biannual events will be held featuring internationally-known speakers from such areas as entrepreneurship, business trends, finance, government or technology. The fall event will feature a nationally-recognized innovator, whose topic will serve as the basis for a spring class where students will study the subject matter in more depth as it relates to economic development of the Upstate. The spring event will focus on the local Upstate community, featuring a summit with participation from local business, community and education leaders and students.