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Student Entrepreneurs Vie for $35,000 for Best New Ideas

UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker Program Fuels Innovative Thinking, Action


Contacts:  Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944 or 
                Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209 or

* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *


Tuesday, April 15
5 to 9 p.m.


WHAT: Twelve teams of UMass Lowell students who have developed solutions to business, technology and social problems will pitch their ideas before a panel of expert judges in the final round of the university’s 2014 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge. The winners will share in $35,000 in seed money to help bring their ideas to fruition.

From a game that helps students study for the SATs to a water-purifying device, presentations will focus on new ideas for software apps, health care, energy, education, consumer products and more.

The Idea Challenge is part of UMass Lowell’s DifferenceMaker Program, which encourages students to find their place as innovators in the global marketplace. Involving students and faculty from each of UMass Lowell’s six schools and colleges, the program teaches students entrepreneurship and how they can use these skills to make a difference in the world as they work to solve business and societal problems.

Expert judges are scheduled to include UMass Lowell alumni Amy Hoey, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Lowell General Hospital; Patricia Keefe, vice president and fixed income group administrator, Loomis Sayles & Co.; L. Donald LaTorre, president, L&G Management Consultants Inc.; Michael Morin, chief executive officer, Supportive Therapeutics LLC; John Pulichino, chairman and chief executive officer of Group III International Ltd.; and James Regan, president and chief executive officer of DCU, along with Jack Wilson, University of Massachusetts president emeritus, UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education and a faculty member in the Manning School of Business. 

Two of last year’s contest winners have already seen success, one developing a new type of prosthetic limb and the other launching a business that offers a website streamlining options for restaurant customers. The competition is sponsored through private donations.

WHERE: Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, Perry Atrium, North Campus, 40 University Ave., Lowell. For directions and parking information, contact UMass Lowell media relations.