The exhibit hall at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference is enormous. Higher education technology providers construct massive display booths to engage conference attendees. However, for companies who are just starting out, large displays are just not possible. At this year's EDUCAUSE Annual Conference (#EDU11  on Twitter) there will be a new area in the exhibit hall for new companies. Start-Up Alley  will feature 18 start-ups that are all about innovation and technology in higher education. EDUCAUSE graciously opened up space on the sold-out showroom floor in exchange for a commitment that participating start-ups engage in market research instead of sales and promotion.
In order to participate, each company had to meet the following conditions:
- The company should employ 50 or less people.
- The company should have less than one million dollars in annual revenue.
- The product or service they are marketing should be less than five years old from when that particular product or service was started.
- Half of the company’s resources should be dedicated to research and development.
- The company should have less than 10% of the institutional market share or less than 10% of the target user base / consumer audience for their designated product or service.
The following start-ups will be at Start-Up Alley in about a week and a half in Philadelphia at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference:
- Class Owl : Potential uses for campus involvement and student activities programs.
- Course Hero : A resource for academic advisors.
- EverTrue : Potential use within Student Affairs Communications and Advancement Efforts.
- GoodSemester : Use for collaborative programs between student affairs and academic affairs.
- Inigral : Already implemented as a platform for engagement and retention .*
- Intellidemia : Potential for use within a first year experience program.
- Iversity : A CMS that helps eliminate silos? Sign me up!
- iZoca : Student organization management and community building.
- Kno : An emerging content provider with major publishing partners.
- Logrado : Student success, real-time dashboards, and at-risk tracking.
- Nuvixa : An interesting video delivery/engagement platform.
- OneSchool : A free mobile app that connects students to campus resources.
- OpenStudy : Crowdsourcing study groups on a massive scale. An intriguing concept.
- Profology : A professional social network for faculty, staff, and administrators. Another walled garden or a useful service?
- RoomSync : Uses Facebook as a platform for roommate self-selection.
- Summit Engineering : Facilities folks should chat with Summit.
- Tegile : IT hardware...most likely not student affairs related, but we would benefit for sure.
- uBoost : A service that increases motivation and persistence? Will definitely check it out!
Having previously interacted with a couple of the Start-Up Alley attendees, I am very excited to have the opportunity to chat with representatives from such a diverse pool of companies.
On a semi-related note, I would like to thank all of the PR professionals who read my EDUCAUSE PR-pitch-post  and responded with creativity, insight, and flair!
Do you tweet? Let's connect. Follow me on Twitter. 
*Inigral sponsors my weekly student affairs web show: Student Affairs Live .