At A Glance

An expert in digital brand building, intellectual property law and entrepreneurship, Shontavia Johnson is a recognized leader and influencer throughout the country. She has led national discussions about the science of going viraldigital literacythe patent system and Black inventors, and she is passionate about helping entrepreneurs build their business from concept to reality.


Johnson has positioned herself as one of the nation’s foremost experts in digital brand building, intellectual property law and inclusive entrepreneurship. As Clemson University’s associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation, Johnson acts as a connecter between students, corporate partners, businesses and other universities to help students create personal brands and launch successful businesses.

With an engineering degree, a law degree, a license to practice patent law and certifications in arbitration and mediation, she is a virtual Swiss Army knife of experience and expertise. She has used that expertise to generate national discussions about a wide range of issues including the science of going viraldigital literacythe patent system and Black inventors, and many more.

Johnson is a leader in the research of internet memes. In 2013, she published a paper on the subject that led to a story in Time magazine, appearances on CNN and being invited to give the closing talk at TEDxAtlanta.

Johnson has twice been named one of the Top 40 Young Lawyers in the United States by the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association, and she was named one of the Inspiring Women in STEM by INISIGHT into Diversity Magazine. Her long list of awards include being a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate, the 42 Under 40 Alumni Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, to name a few.

In 2018, she was named one of the 200 Black Women In Tech to Follow on Twitter by a distinguished panel of female African American influencers for creating content related to inclusion, the celebration of diversity in tech and the elevation of underrepresented groups.

As host of The Shontavia Show, a web series and podcast, Johnson tackles the most common questions about starting, operating and growing a business and personal brand. She has also built the Brand+Business Academy, which teaches working professionals how to create their businesses in five weeks or less while working full time.

Johnson and her husband, who is a lawyer in Clemson’s general counsel office, are both Clemson graduates. The two have traveled the country and the world extensively, living everywhere from New Orleans to Cape Town, South Africa.

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“Entrepreneurship and innovation drive so much of human survival. If you look at what we’re dealing with right now with the coronavirus — we have to find a cure or vaccination that requires people to be very innovative, to think outside the box. Innovation is what keeps us alive.

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    • Intellectual property law
    • Trademark law and diversity
    • Social media law
    • African Americans in tech
    • Internet and pop culture

    Degrees, Institutions

    • J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law
    • B.S., biosystems engineering, Clemson University