Congratulations to the 10 finalist winners of the 1st Annual UMass Lowell DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge - 2013!

2013 Winners

Man with prosthetic leg and UMass student
Jonathan deAlderete (right in photo) and Erin Keaney cofounded Nonspec, which creates low-cost, high-functioning prosthetic limbs to people around the world.

Campus-Wide DifferenceMaker

Nonspec - $5,000
Low cost high functionality replacement limb with an acceptable amount of customization for children in other nations.

  • Katherine Cain
  • Jonathan De Alderete
  • Brendan Donoghue
  • Sean Gibson
  • Olivia Keane
  • Erin Keaney

Significant Social Impact

1st Place - $3,500
Healthy Habits
Inspire children to achieve healthier lifestyles by eating nutritious foods, exercising and being active to prevent sedentary lifestyles.
  • Jacqueline Bradley
  • Meghan Hathaway
  • Katerina Kafkas
  • Nicole Leblance
  • Haley Mayne
  • Michelle Racioppi
2nd Place - $1,500
Bright Future Generation
Non-Profit organization: Mental health services addressing the needs of Rwandan youth.
  • Vanessa Colomba
  • Steve DiPerna
  • Isaie Mihigo
  • Yousef Theeb

Sustainable Environment

1st Place - $3,500
Lowell Sprouts/Lets Grow Lowell
Uses school gardens as a way to educate middle school children about the importance of sustainable, organic agriculture.
  • Mary Beth Burwood
  • Sean Hicks
  • Christopher Horne
2nd Place - $1,500
Hybrid Power Tricycle
Assistive Tricycle for handicap kids that utilizes pedaling power and a motor together. It also has a full support system and wireless shutoff. 
  • Anthony Capone
  • Derek Dempsey

Innovative Technology

1st Place - $3,500
Robotic Feeding Arm
Produces robotic arms to assist people where debilitating circumstances inhibit them from performing daily living activities. 
  • Philip Colangelo
2nd Place - $1,500
School enrichment collaboration application. It provides modules for student note-taking, book trading, as well as discussion groups.
  • Avery DeCesare
  • Rohit Krishnan
  • Eric Marcoux
  • Tanjil Mustafa
  • Brian Tran

First to Market

1st Place - $3,500
Grab a Bite
Social Food Network that engages users and helps increase restaurants customer traffic through marketing, ease of use and convenience.
  • Aldo Beqiraj
  • Denis Lemos
  • Andrew MacRobert
  • Andrew Webb
2nd Place - $1,500
A produce that gives tactile/kinesthetic feedback for both correct spinal alignment and correct breathing mechanics to demand quality movement.
  • Ramez Antoun
  • Nick Bleil
  • Ryan Connor
  • Michael Tadros
  • Robert Roufail

Honorable Mention DifferenceMaker

U.R. Corp - $500
Recognizes the importance of small businesses and what they do for the economies of local and national marketplaces and helps them compete with larger companies by expanding their market reach.
  • Robert Fisher