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Jay Ebben

Associate Professor

  • Education
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, Marquette University
    M.B.A., Entrepreneurship/Marketing, University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Ph.D., Strategy/Entrepreneurship, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Expertise
  • Start-up and growth strategies, early-stage finance.
  • Research Interests
  • Identifying tangible tools for coaching entrepreneurs and teaching students in entrepreneurial strategy and finance, with a specific emphasis on financial and economic modeling.

Jay Ebben, PhD, has taught at the University of St. Thomas since 2002, where his courses include Foundations of Entrepreneurship, Financial Resource Management for Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurial Thinking. He lead the inaugural Changemaker Living Learning Community in the fall of 2018 and leads the Summer Economics Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia each summer.

Ebben is passionate about mentoring students through the start-up experience and works with students from all over campus, including in the Practicing Entrepreneurs group, the Fowler Business Concept Challenge and more.

Ebben’s research has focused on identifying tangible tools for coaching entrepreneurs and teaching students in entrepreneurial strategy and finance, with a specific emphasis on financial and economic modeling. His publications include empirical, case study and pedagogical papers, and they have appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal and the Journal of Business Venturing. He is also the author of a novel, Painted Hives, which received a first runner-up award in the 2018 Eric Hoffer Indie Book Awards.

Ebben has received several other awards for his teaching and research, including the 2010 Julie Hays Teaching Award, the 2010 IJEBR Outstanding Paper Award, the 2012 USASBE Best Teaching Case Award and the 2013 USASBE Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation Award.


  • Ebben, J. J., & Johnson, A. C. (2018). Transit team acquisition analysis case study. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, (19)(2), pp. 129-143
  • Ebben, J. J. (2017). The tommie tank project: Experiential learning in entrepreneurial finance. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange (EIX),
  • 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). SP equity case study. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, (12)(3), pp. 91-107
  • 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. (2009). Bootstrapping and the financial condition of small firms. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, (15), pp. 346-363
  • Ebben, J. J. (2007). Decisions that impact small firm growth. Business Journal for Entrepreneurs Quarterly, (2007)(4), pp. 62-76
  • Ebben, J. J. (2007). 'Decisions that impact firm growth' in international. Business Journal for Entrepreneurs Quarterly, (2007)(4), pp. 62-76
  • Ebben, J. J. (2007). Product offering, operational strategy, and performance of small firms. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, (20), pp. 244-255
  • 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,

  • Best Teaching Case Award, USASBE - U.S. Association of Small Business Entrepreneurs, 2012
  • Fulbright Scholar Award, Slovenia, 2011
  • International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 2009
  • Julie Hays Teaching Award, 2010
  • Special Recognition in Entrepreneurship Education Innovation Award, USASBE - U.S. Association of Small Business Entrepreneurs, 2013

  • NACRA - North American Case Research Association
  • USASBE - U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship
  • Economic and Business Review,
  • House of Talents,
  • Journal of Business Venturing, Reviewer
  • Great River Coalition, Board Member
  • St. Paul Youth Sports Leagues, Other
  • St. Stanislaus, Other

  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2008 - present)
  • Instructor, U.S. Embassy/AMCHAM, Ljubljana (2012 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2002 - 2008)
  • Instructor, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison (1998 - 2002)
  • Quality Engineer, Johnson Controls, Milwaukee (1996 - 1997)
  • Industrial Engineer, Videojet Systems International, Wood Dale (1994 - 1995)