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

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

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

Register for a College-based Competition!

Do you have a creative idea you want to pursue? Learn more about the three college-based competitions and register today for a chance to win funding and other resources!

  • Applications Open: Sept. 21
  • Applications Close: Oct. 21

Register for the College-based Competition Kick-off

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

Check-out the 2022 $50K Idea Challenge Winning Teams!

Ten finalist teams received a portion of $50,000 in funding at the 10th Annual Idea Challenge.

Learn more about the winning teams.

Learn more about the event.

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

  • VieVest, Honorable Mention

    VieVest is a creative design that will protect athletes during weight lifting workouts.

  • Nonspec

    Nonspec participated in the first annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge where they received the prestigious title of “The Campus Wide DifferenceMaker” and the top award of $5,000.

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.