Alec Johnson

Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship

2115 Summit Ave
McNeely Hall 307
St. Paul, MN 55105

B.S., Engineering Mechanics, University of Wisconsin
M.S., Management/International Business, University of Wisconsin
Ph.D., Strategy/Entrepreneurship, University of Wisconsin

See publications in UST Research Online

Alec Johnson has published in entrepreneurship and strategy journals. His work focuses on entrepreneurial strategy and finance. He is active in developing case studies focused on opportunity identification, business models, entrepreneurial management and entrepreneurial finance.

In Jan. 2013, Johnson (along with his colleague James Ebben, Ph.D.) developed the innovative Lemonade Stand Class, which earned the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship(r) 2013 award for Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation. He is also a regular contributor to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Saint Paul Pioneer Press. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fall 2018 Courses
Fall 2018 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
ENTR 200 - 01 Foundations of Entrepreneur M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 FDC 102A
Description of course Foundations of Entrepreneur : CRN: 42912 4 Credit Hours
ENTR200 is a national award-winning course and is the first course in the Entrepreneurship Concentration sequence. Known across campus as the “Lemonade Stand” class, this course requires students to start a new business and reach revenue, and in this process begin the journey to becoming world-class problem solvers. This course is a combination of applied and theoretical dimensions of Entrepreneurship. In addition to starting a new business, students are exposed to theoretical concepts, including Opportunity Identification, Business Modeling, Industry Analysis, and New Venture Growth. This is a very dynamic course, mixing lecture, discussion, case study, guest speakers and introduction to the Hotwash Process. The course culminates in a competition with UST alumni judging the students’ quality of work and accomplishments. Prerequisite: sophomore standing, not open to seniors.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 350 - D01 Entrepreneurial Research M - W - - - - 1145 - 1320 FDC 102A
Description of course Entrepreneurial Research : CRN: 43103 4 Credit Hours
ENTR 350 builds on the learning begun in ENTR 200 or ENTR 260, by providing additional tools and skills necessary for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring new business concepts successfully to market. Drawing upon a range of applied methodologies, including Design Thinking and Lean Startup, the course provides students with the tools to uncover new market needs, develop novel solutions, craft innovative and effective business models, and determine viable go-to-market strategies. The course is highly experimental, emphasizing case study analysis and discussion, in-class exercises and an exploratory field study. Prerequisite: ENTR 200 or ENTR 260
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
J-Term 2019 Courses
J-Term 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Spring 2019 Courses
Spring 2019 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
ENTR 100 - 07 Entrepreneurship & Innovation - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 FDC 102A
Description of course Entrepreneurship & Innovation : CRN: 22554 2 Credit Hours
Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking and acting in the world that creates positive impact through the development of new and better solutions to customer and societal problems. Entrepreneurs see the world differently, noticing problems that others have overlooked and using passion, creativity and business skills to craft new and better solutions that address those problems effectively and sustainably. In doing so, entrepreneurs create value for others and advance the common good, whether in a startup enterprise, or an established company, or in a social-impact enterprise. In this course, business students of all disciplines will get an introduction to the entrepreneurial process, gaining knowledge and experience in core practices of entrepreneurial discovery and creation. The course is highly experiential – students will learn by doing, whether through in-class exercises, an exploratory field study, or case study analysis and discussion. Students will learn how this process advances the common good and will identify how it can be deployed within multiple fields of study. 2 credits
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 100 - 08 Entrepreneurship & Innovation - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 FDC 102A
Description of course Entrepreneurship & Innovation : CRN: 22555 2 Credit Hours
Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking and acting in the world that creates positive impact through the development of new and better solutions to customer and societal problems. Entrepreneurs see the world differently, noticing problems that others have overlooked and using passion, creativity and business skills to craft new and better solutions that address those problems effectively and sustainably. In doing so, entrepreneurs create value for others and advance the common good, whether in a startup enterprise, or an established company, or in a social-impact enterprise. In this course, business students of all disciplines will get an introduction to the entrepreneurial process, gaining knowledge and experience in core practices of entrepreneurial discovery and creation. The course is highly experiential – students will learn by doing, whether through in-class exercises, an exploratory field study, or case study analysis and discussion. Students will learn how this process advances the common good and will identify how it can be deployed within multiple fields of study. 2 credits
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 260 - 01 Entrepreneurial Thinking - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 MCH 114
Description of course Entrepreneurial Thinking : CRN: 22064 4 Credit Hours
This course is designed as an introduction to the entrepreneurial mindset, and to the creative problem solving tools and critical thinking skills necessary to successfully pursue innovation and entrepreneurial success. The course is designed for non‐business majors and, as such, will cover a broad range of topics. Students will explore the issues that surround opportunity recognition, opportunity evaluation, creative problem solving, cash flow, and growth management of an entrepreneurial venture. The course will be primarily case‐based. This means that nearly all learning will take place through active participation in case analysis and class discussions. This style of learning has a number of advantages; it involves the study of dozens of real entrepreneurial ventures and problems, it emphasizes practical learning as well as theoretical concepts, it allows the student to develop their personal approach to the subject, and it builds kills as well as knowledge.
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 350 - D01 Entrepreneurial Research - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 FDC 102A
Description of course Entrepreneurial Research : CRN: 22065 4 Credit Hours
ENTR 350 builds on the learning begun in ENTR 200 or ENTR 260, by providing additional tools and skills necessary for entrepreneurs and innovators to bring new business concepts successfully to market. Drawing upon a range of applied methodologies, including Design Thinking and Lean Startup, the course provides students with the tools to uncover new market needs, develop novel solutions, craft innovative and effective business models, and determine viable go-to-market strategies. The course is highly experimental, emphasizing case study analysis and discussion, in-class exercises and an exploratory field study. Prerequisite: ENTR 200 or ENTR 260
Schedule Details
Location Time Day(s)
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2008 - present)
  • Co-Founder, Medcademy, (2016 - present)
  • Co-Founder, CourseCal, (2013 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2001 - 2008)
  • Associate Director - Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis (1999 - 2001)
  • Intro to Business Course Coordinator, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison (1998 - 1999)
  • Product Development Engineer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Akron (1989 - 1993)

Professional Service
  • FamDoo,
  • The Venture Catalyst Group,
  • USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship, Reviewer

Publications
  • Johnson, A. C., Nenide, B., & Pricer, R. W. (forthcoming). Determining the ability of firms to use debt to finance operations: A theoretical and pragmatic approach to financial analysis and strategic decision making. Journal of Applied Business and Economics,
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2018). Transit team acquisition analysis case study. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, (19)(2), pp. 129-143
  • Johnson, A. C., & Ebben, J. J. (2017). ArtsApp case study: Will music schools embrace multimedia software?. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange (EIX),
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2015). Simply sport bikes case study. The CASE Journal, (11)(1), pp. 113-132
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2014). Borealis software case study. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, (15)(4), pp. 118-126
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2011). Cash conversion cycle management in small firms relationships with liquidity, invested capital, and firm performance. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, (24)(3), pp. 381-396
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2011). SP equity case study. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, (12)(3), pp. 91-107
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2006). Bootstrapping in small firms: An empirical analysis of change over time. Journal of Business Venturing, (21), pp. 851-865
  • Johnson, A. C., Ebben, J. J., & Pricer, R. (2006). Organization strategy for successful firm performance. Journal of Applied Business and Economics, (6)(5), pp. 73-83
  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2005). Efficiency, flexibility, or both? Evidence linking strategy to performance in small firms. Strategic Management Journal, (26)(1249-1259),
  • Johnson, A. C., & Ebben, J. J. (2004). Fluent Systems, LLC Case A: Concept to market by leveraging university resources. Case Research Journal,

Books and Chapters

Research Interests
  • Competition
  • E-Commerce
  • Emerging Business
  • Entrepreneurship Strategy
  • Valuations

Awards and Honors
  • USASBE - Special Recognition in Innovation of Entrepreneurship Education, 2013

Presentations
  • "FamDoo.com (case study)" USASBE, San Diego, California, January 01, 2016
  • "ReconRobotics case study" USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship Conference, Tampa, Florida, January 01, 2015
  • "Amcom software case study" USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, January 01, 2014
  • "From bags to riches case study" USASBE -Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education, San Francisco, California, January 01, 2013
  • "Simply sport bikes case study" USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship Conference, New Orleans, Louisana, January 01, 2013
  • "Automotion case study" USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship Conference, San Francisco, California, January 01, 2013
  • "The lemonade stand class" USASBE - USA Small Business Entrepreneurship Conference, San Francisco, California, January 01, 2013
  • "Simply sport bikes case study" USASBE - U.S.A. Small Business Entrepreneurship, New Orleans, LA, January 01, 2012
  • "SP equity case study" USASBE - U.S.A. Small Business Entrepreneurship, Hilton Head, South Carolina, January 01, 2011