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

Jacquie Moloney with Brian and Kim Rist at the opening of the Rist DifferenceMaker Institute

Thank you 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.

Three students and a professor hold an enlarged check for the People's Choice Winner at UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker competition

Attend the 2023 Preliminary Pitch-off!

Come support the participating DifferenceMaker Teams and learn about their innovative and creative ideas!

The top ten finalist teams will advance to the 2023 $50,000 Idea Challenge

Register to attend the DifferenceMaker 2023 Preliminary Pitch-off!

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

Attend 11th annual $50,000 Idea Challenge!

Watch the ten finalist teams pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to guest judges for a chance to win thousands in funding!

Register to attend the 2023 DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge

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 with DifferenceMaker

Real-Life DifferenceMakers


    DEXTER is aiming to help reduce the costs financially and environmentally to fruit farms by improving the efficiency of spraying pesticides on farms, and to helping to reduce the financial strain that comes with dumping the pesticides over their crops.

  • Lowell Sprouts

    Lowell Sprouts is an organization that utilizes school gardens as a way to educate middle school children about the importance of sustainable, organic agriculture. Lowell Sprouts entered the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge and won first place in the “Sustainable Environment” category, a $3,500 award.

The Buzz on Social Media

Support DifferenceMaker

Gifts at any level make a direct impact on thousands of UMass Lowell students and faculty every day.