Shontavia Johnson is an intellectual property lawyer, entrepreneur and academic who blooms at the intersection of inclusive entrepreneurship, law and culture. She is passionate about helping women of color leverage their knowledge to build brands and start businesses. As Clemson University’s associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation, Shontavia acts as a connecter between students, corporate partners, entrepreneurs, and other universities. Shontavia has also founded the Brand and Business Academy, a thriving community created to support, educate and inspire the most innovative but underestimated group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. — women of color. The Academy teaches women of color how to become entrepreneurs with a Day Zero focus on protecting and leveraging intellectual property. Shontavia’s career began with failure—she quit her first job as a big firm lawyer after less than two years on the job. After quitting, she cut all of her hair off, dumped her boyfriend, and moved to South Africa for a summer. When she returned to the U.S., she took a $100,000 pay cut to pursue her dream of making entrepreneurship and intellectual property more accessible. Today, Shontavia is still pursuing that dream. Shontavia has been widely featured in the media, including in L.A. Times, NPR, Black Enterprise, CNN, Harvard’s Nieman Lab, and more. As a writer, she has contributed articles to Fortune, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and TIME.