TASA Midwinter Conference

January 24-27, 2016 • Austin Convention Center

2017 TASA Innovation Zone

IZ Logo

The Innovation Zone features early stage education market companies selected by a panel of experts through an application process, that are searching for meaningful input and guidance about their products and services. TASA's Midwinter Conference (January 29-February 1, Austin Convention Center) is the perfect venue to unite these companies with top education leaders who have a sincere desire to be knowledgeable about leading-edge innovations.

Innovation Zone Package

  • A 90-minute presentation (Sunday, January 29) with a panel of superintendents and/or district level school leaders (up to four panel members)
  • Written feedback on the presentation with recommendations and guidance
  • Exhibition space in the TASA Innovation Zone at the 2017 Midwinter Conference exhibit hall
  • Three complimentary registrations to attend the 2017 Midwinter Conference
  • Invitation to Midwinter Conference Welcome Reception (Sunday, January 29)
  • Invitation to Innovation Zone Reception (Monday, January 30)
  • Invitation to President's Dinner [Monday, January 30; maximum of three (3) representatives]
  • Feature listing in the spring 2017 issue of INSIGHT, TASA's quarterly journal
  • Spotlight feature in TASA Daily, TASA's popular daily e-newsletter

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for the 2017 TASA Innovation Zone, businesses must meet the following requirements:
  • Be an incorporated for-profit/nonprofit business in the education services or products sector started within the past 5 years.
  • Have an established management team that is able to convey prior educational experience, exposure, and business development experience.
  • Have a public website.
  • Confirm more than $50,000 in revenue from business operations or have enough active pilot projects that would generate more than $50,000, if the pilots were converted into paying clients or users.
  • Articulate a business model that will meet the needs of TASA member districts. Be able to identify scaling strategies that would benefit a majority of the member districts. Texas has many small and medium districts and we are specifically looking for solutions that are affordable at both ends of the spectrum.
  • Submit references and testimonials attesting to the value and uniqueness of the service or product. Two to three references/testimonials preferred.
  • Have a passion for helping to create student-centered schools and future-ready students.

Eligible Businesses

  • Administrative and instructional software
  • Architectural, engineering, and building services
  • Computer-related equipment
  • Energy management
  • Financial investment services
  • Instructional materials and resources
  • Insurance, employee benefits, annuities, and risk management
  • School buses and related services
  • Software companies
  • Specialty items
  • Testing and assessment materials and software


Applications closed Monday, October 31, 2016.

Program Administration

High STEPS, LLC., is administering this program in partnership with TASA, establishing application guidelines, inviting corporate applicants, reviewing applications, administering panels, and providing overall management for the program.

Financial Considerations

Each company, upon submitting an application to participate in the TASA Innovation Zone, will pay a $200 non-refundable application fee. If selected to participate, the company will pay an additional $3,750 fee for the panel presentation and targeted feedback through a written report. The participation fee includes exhibition space in the specially designated TASA Innovation Zone in the Midwinter Conference exhibit hall as well as other items listed under the Innovation Zone Package section at left.

Panel Presentations

Panel presentations will be conducted on Sunday, January 29, 2017, just prior to the Midwinter Conference. Each company will present in a 90-minute time slot in front of an expert panel (up to four panel members), interact with the panel members, and receive a written report following the presentation. Summaries will also be sent to the TASA membership and will be included in the Innovation Zone electronic media.


Michael Glover
Eric Reeves