Due to COVID-19, the Annual DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge will be conducted in a live virtual format. Please register and join us to cheer on our UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker student teams as they compete for $50,000 in funding and share their solutions to real-world problems. A panel of UMass Lowell alumni judges will ask questions, provide feedback, and determine the final prizes. This event is for students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members, and entrepreneurs.
DifferenceMaker® $50K Idea Challenge Online Registration
If you have any questions, please email: DifferenceMaker@uml.edu.
View the 2020 Finalists!
The Rist DifferenceMaker Institute will be hosting the Eighth Annual Rist DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge this spring 2020. The goal of the Idea Challenge is to engage UMass Lowell students in creative and innovative problem solving around major issues that affect our region and our future.
Student teams will be asked to develop real solutions to real problems. They will then be coached and guided to present a concept proposal for a needed service, product or business that addresses a real world challenge such as education, climate change, access to health care, support for the arts, cyber security, regional unemployment, etc.
$50,000 in prizes will be awarded to UMass Lowell student teams that present the best solutions and strategies for addressing these timely social and business challenges.
If you have creative and innovative ideas for solving these types of problems, or want to work with others to try to figure this out, please consider forming a student team and enter the 2020 $50K Idea Challenge. All student teams will receive guidance and coaching in refining their concept and final presentation.
The Rist DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge awards ceremony will be held at University Crossing, Moloney Hall, Room 260, on April 15, 2020 from 5 - 8:30 p.m.
Idea Concept Development – February to March
Preliminary Pitch Off
April 7: 12:30 - 6 p.m.
Open to the public: 5-6 p.m.
Location: O'Leary Library, 1st Floor and Mezzanine (2nd Floor), South Campus
Each team will present a Power Point presentation pitch describing their problem and proposed solution before a panel of alumni judges. Each presentation will be followed by a brief Q&A session with the judges. Then, the finalists for the 2020 Rist DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge, on April 15 will be selected and announced.
Idea Challenge Finals Pitch Ceremony
April 15, 2020, 5 - 8:30 p.m.
University Crossing, Moloney Hall, Room 260
A total of $50K in prizes will be awarded. We would like to give a huge thank you to our category sponsors! Your support has been instrumental to the growth and success of DifferenceMaker.
For more information email: DifferenceMaker@uml.edu.