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.

Teams by the Numbers

  • $7 Million

    Raised By Teams

  • 40

    Companies Formed By Teams

  • 14

    Teams Patents Filed or Issued

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

Join the DifferenceMaker Kick-off and Idea Hack event!

This event is full of networking and an interactive activity!

You will learn more about the $50K Idea Challenge and meet past winning teams. Food will be served. Please join DifferenceMaker!

  • Date: January 24
  • Time: 5:30- 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Saab Center, Perry Atrium

Register to attend the DifferenceMaker Kick-off and Idea Hack event!

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

Apply Today for the 2023 $50K Idea Challenge!

Do you have an idea you want to pursue? Do you want to make a difference? Apply for DifferenceMaker’s 11th Annual $50K Idea Challenge!

  • Applications Open: December 1, 2022 at 5 p.m.
  • Applications Close: February 13, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Learn more about the Idea Challenege.
Questions? Email: DifferenceMaker@uml.edu

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

  • Cyborg

    Cyborg is a hybrid, cost effective, musical instrument, which has the ability to transform any object into a touch sensitive musical instrument.


    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.

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.