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UMass Lowell will resume on-campus instruction, research and campus life for Fall 2020. View the plan for more info.

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

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!

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

2020 Winning Student Teams

Check out our 2020 DifferenceMaker winning teams!


8th Annual DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge.

Real-Life DifferenceMakers

  • TopaCan

    TopaCan is a product development company whose first product turns any empty can into an environmentally friendly way to dispose of cigarette butts.


    RE-VIVE aims to lessen the fatalities associated with the opioid epidemic. The product consists of a wearable auto-injection system to administer Naloxone to those suffering from a drug overdose.

The Buzz on Social Media