DifferenceMakerTM $50K Idea Challenge Online Registration

View Past Finalists!

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Thank You To Our 2024 Corporate Sponsor

Spring 2024 $50K Idea Challenge Information

The DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge engages University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) students in creative and innovative problem-solving. Student teams develop real solutions to real problems found in their personal lives, on campus, in the community, nation, or the world, creating a positive impact. Solutions can be a needed service, product, UML student club, non-profit, social impact, or business addressing challenges in areas such as education, environment, health care, support for the arts, cyber security, regional unemployment, and others.

If you have creative and innovative ideas to address these types of problems, consider entering the Idea Challenge and forming a team with students from different majors on campus to further explore and refine the solution. Student teams receive guidance and coaching in refining their concept and presentation.

Finalist teams receive part of $50,000 (35,000 of funding toward your idea and are eligible to apply for one of three $5,000 in-kind legal services prizes sponsored by Foley and Lardner) and attend summer Boot Camp to learn more about customer discovery and business models.

Idea Challenge Kick-Off and Idea Hack.

  • January 30 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, Perry Atrium, North Campus - 40 University Ave., Lowell, MA
  • Learn more about the DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge and some of our current student projects.
  • Meet and network with other students, faculty and staff to:
    • Share your ideas with each other.
    • Brainstorm and collaborate
    • Find potential teammates and mentors.

Register for the 2024 Idea Challenge Kick-Off and Idea Hack

South Campus Weekly Pop Up

DifferenceMaker Information


If you have any questions, please email: DifferenceMaker@uml.edu.