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Rist DifferenceMaker Institute

DifferenceMaker® 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

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

DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge!

Ten entrepreneurial student teams pitched their creative ideas to a panel of alumni judges to win a portion of $50,000 in funding! 

View the 10 finalist teams and awards.

Student standing on stage at a DifferenceMaker event

Join DifferenceMaker Demo Day!

This year's 10 Idea Challenge winning teams need guidance to bring their ideas to the next level. Are you interested in mentoring a student team? Are you interested in hearing the students new and improved ideas since completing the DifferenceMaker Summer Boot Camp?

Date: July 13
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Virtual; Zoom

Register for DifferenceMaker Demo Day!

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

Real-Life DifferenceMakers

  • KEnDERS Body Armor

    KEnDERS Body Armor is a new design for sports equipment using shear-thickening fluids.

  • Guardian

    Guardian is a sensor platform that can attach to any commercially available drone for use in search and rescue operations.

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