DifferenceMakerTM is a campus-wide program that engages UMass Lowell students in creative problem solving, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Jacquie Moloney with Brian and Kim Rist at the opening of the Rist DifferenceMaker Institute

Thank you Kim and Brian Rist '77, Manning School of Business, for supporting the DifferenceMaker Program with a generous contribution and the establishment of the Rist DifferenceMaker Institute.

Three students and a professor hold an enlarged check for the People's Choice Winner at UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker competition

Idea Challenge Applications are Now Open!

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue? Apply to the $50,000 Idea Challenge for a chance to win funding and to work with mentors! 

  • Applications Open: December 1 at 5 p.m.
  • Applications Close:  February 12 at 5 p.m.

Learn more about the Idea Challenge and apply today!

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

Attend the Idea Challenge Kick-Off and Idea Hack

Have an innovative idea that solves a real-world problem? 

Join DifferenceMaker at the Idea Challenge Kick-Off and Idea Hack event to learn about how to get involved in the upcoming 2024 $50,000 Idea Challenge and to participate in an ideation activity!

  • Date: January 30
  • Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Saab Center, North Campus

Register to attend the Idea Challenge Kick-Off and Idea Hack 

Are you a DifferenceMaker?

Do you have an idea? Do you see a problem you want to solve? Do you want to make a difference in your community, or in the world? Do you want to join a team and work with other students? Sound like you?

Get involved with DifferenceMaker

Real-Life DifferenceMakers

  • Healthy Habits

    At the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge, Healthy Habits won first place in the category “Significant Social Impact,” and was awarded $3,500 to further implement their idea.

  • Tendren

    Tendren is a wristband that monitors a patient's vitals while they are in the hospital waiting room.

Support DifferenceMaker

Gifts at any level make a direct impact on thousands of UMass Lowell students and faculty every day.