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Rist DifferenceMaker Institute

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

Thank you to 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.

Teams by the Numbers

A team demonstrates their entry at the DifferenceMaker 2014 Francis College of Engineering Prototyping Competition.

DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge!

Ten entrepreneurial student teams pitched their creative ideas to a panel of alumni judges to win a portion of $50,000 in funding! 

View the 10 finalist teams and awards.

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

New Rist Fellow Position!

Interested in working at DifferenceMaker? The Rist Fellow will work closely with student entrepreneurs and help contribute to the institutional innovation and entrepreneurial efforts and goals of DifferenceMaker and UMass Lowell.

Learn more and apply for the position

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

Real-Life DifferenceMakers


    Over Terrain Tactical Scuba Personnel Delivery Service crafted a solution to New England’s unforgiving terrain by creating a device that would either assist by moving the diver’s gear for them, or even moving the diver into the dive spot that they need to reach.

  • UML Green Roofs

    UML Green Roofs is attempting to provide secure green outdoor locations for the students at UMass Lowell.

The Buzz on Social Media