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Manning School/DCU Innovation

Differencemaker DCU / Manning School of Business Innovation Contest


Application extended to Nov. 1!

Supported by:


Have a "BIG" idea that could make a difference? Tell us about it!

  • Top Prize of $500 in cash per team member!
  • Each Finalist - $100 in cash per team member!

We want to hear your cutting-edge banking and financial innovations which could drive our future success in the industry. Possible focus areas include:

  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Blockchain
  • Mobile Technology Solutions
  • Future Payment Solutions
  • Financial Literacy Education
  • Small Business Solutions
  • Payday Lending Alternatives
  • Are you up to the challenge? We think you are!!

Important Dates

  • Kick-off Event: Sept. 22, 5:30-7 p.m. Register to attend the Kick-off event: Coming Soon.
  • Application Registration Opens: Sept. 22 at 5 p.m.
    • Each team must be officially registered into the contest by sending an email to on or before the deadline (Oct. 22, 2021). This includes identifying the team name, team members, and a brief summary of the planned entry (maximum of one paragraph). This should provide a very high level description of the area being focused on by your team. It is understood that specifics will not have been worked out at this point.
  • Application extended to Nov. 1!
  • Executive Summary Due: Nov. 10, by 5 p.m.
    • Teams must submit entry by November 10, 2021. Teams can create their entry using any software they have access to, although all entries must be converted to a .PDF file format (under 10 MB) for submission. Please send this via email to:
  • Finalist Teams Announced: Nov. 18, by 5 p.m.
  • Finalist Team Meetings with DCU: November
  • Final Competition: Dec. 1, 6 - 8:30 p.m. Register to attend the final pitch event.

More Information

Contact Us

Questions? Please email:

2020 Winner

  • Project Title: Financial Freedom Program (FFP)
  • Description: Educating young adults on how to be financially free
  • Team Members: Amy Michelin and Craig Williams. 
  • Total Funds Awarded: $1,200 in cash!

Thank you to the 2020 judges!

  • Andrew Knaebel, Director of Information Systems Infrastructure, DCU
  • Sandesh Parulekar, Director of Information Systems Development, DCU
  • Barbara Russel, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Cap W
  • Joseph Vaillancourt, ’90, ’01, Manning School of Business, Managing Partner of Venture Enterprises, LLC and the President of Cyclyx International, Inc.