DifferenceMaker LLC Event – September 10, 2014

Classes, work, friends, family, homework, clubs… Welcome to college! College is the place where the list of to-do’s never ends, and you are always pulled in multiple directions.

The DifferenceMaker Team understands that. We want to welcome the UMass Lowell Class of 2018 to the DifferenceMaker Program with open arms. Our team recognizes that you are new to college and that there is a world of opportunity ahead of you. We want to share with you the opportunities that the Program has to offer, while at the same time, allowing you to decide your direction over the next four years.

As an introduction to the DifferenceMaker Program, we held an event last night to welcome DifferenceMaker LLC students to UMass Lowell. Students met on the third floor of Fox Hall where they chatted with members of the DifferenceMaker Team about themselves, their experiences, and their views on leadership and what “success” means to them.

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UMass Lowell Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation

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The University of Massachusetts Lowell has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and its Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity (CICEP).

The APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities program recognizes institutions for exemplary, innovative, and sustainable efforts in economic engagement by those who have received the IEP University designation. The designation identifies institutions working to advance the engagement and economic well-being of their states, regions, and the nation through a variety of efforts. Designees have worked through an intensive process of institutional self-study and engagement with stakeholders to identify the strengths of the university’s economic engagement enterprise as well as areas for growth and improvement.

Learn more about APLU: http://www.aplu.org/page.aspx?pid=203

Press Release-Nonspec wins 1st Place at ASME Innovation Showcase in Washington DC

Congratulations to the 2013 Campus Wide DifferenceMaker team, Nonspec. On Monday, April 28, 2014 they competed against 9 other teams in the ASME IShow at The Newseum in Washington DC. Nonspec was awarded the 1st place prize of $25,000!!! Congratulations to Nonspec on making a difference through their hard work, dedication, innovative product idea and success.

The ASME IShow is meant to inspire students to be product innovators and entrepreneurs. It provides a platform for top collegiate teams to compete for seed funding in order to further the development of their product and business. Teams must display technical creativity and prove that they have a sustainable business model to a judging panel of successful innovators, industry experts, venture capitalists, and intellectual property specialists.

Nonspec produces low cost expandable and adjusting prosthetic limbs for children in developing nations.  Their technology is currently patent pending. Nonspec applied to the ASME IShow in February and became a top ten finalist. Yesterday they achieved 1st place in this rigorous IShow competition.

In one short year (since winning the $5,000 award at the 1st Annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge on April 15, 2013) Nonspec has achieved the following awards:

  • Campus Wide DifferenceMaker Award, $5,000
  • 2nd Place at Commencement Pitch, $1,000
  • Top 10 College Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur Magazine
  • IAPD Plastics Application Design Award, $1,000 (but taking PR instead of $)
  • Moo Grand Prix Small Business Award, $11,000 plus $1,000 for materials
  • NCIIA E-Team Grant Stage 1, $5,000
  • Design News Engineer to Watch 2014, Jonathan de Alderete
  • ASME top ten for the Innovation Showcase
  • AME IShow 1st Place Award, $25,000

To stay up to date on the DifferenceMaker Program and its creative teams please follow DMs on twitter @Difference_UML and visit www.facebook.com/umldifferencemaker.

Press Release – 2nd Annual DifferenceMaker™ Idea Challenge: April 15, 2014

The 2nd Annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge was held on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The poster reception took place from 5–6 p.m. with the pitch competition & awards from 6–9 p.m. This event was held in the Mark and Elisia Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center, Atrium on North Campus. 42 teams pitched in the Preliminary Pitch-Off Event on April 4th and the 13 teams who made it through were featured at this 2nd Annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge.

The evening began with poster presentations by the 13 finalist teams, as well as student teams who participated in the Preliminary Pitch-Off and wanted a chance to win a “Fan Favorite” prize. The 13 finalist teams then presented a series of 5 minute rocket pitches to a panel of 8 alumni judges for a chance to share in $35,000 in prizes. These entrepreneurial UMass student teams competed and shared their ventures and all received a portion of the $35,000 to help further their projects. This event attracted over 135 students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members and entrepreneurs.

We would like to thank all of the judges for helping make this event a great success:

 Final Judges-April 15, 2014

Jim Regan
John Pulichino
Mark Forziati
Jack Wilson
Mike Morin
Don LaTorre
Tricia Keefe
Amy Hoey

We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us make a difference: 

  • Digital Credit Union-Corporate Sponsor
  • Joseph C. Day Chancellor’s Fund for Institutional Priorities
  • Joseph P. Donahue Charitable Foundation
  • Mitchell Kertzman Endowed Discretionary Fund
  • Francis L. McKone Chancellor’s Discretionary Endowment Fund
  • Pernick Chancellor’s Endowed Discretionary Fund
  • Spinola Angel Investment Fund for Entrepreneurship
  • Jack Wilson Endowed Presidential Entrepreneurship Award Fund

Congratulations to the 2014 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge $35K Winners!!!

Project Title

Award

Team Members and Hometowns

SOS: Support Our Students: This Campus Community Shop at UMass Lowell would be a centrally located resource for students of low-income or those in need of assistance. It would also serve as a resource center for community engagement, for credit service placements and volunteer opportunities in the area. Campus-Wide DifferenceMaker$7,000 Teresa Shroll, Graduate, Community Social PsychologySadie Prickett, Graduate, Community Social Psychology

Mary Tauras, Graduate, Community Social Psychology

Xavier Guay, Junior, Computer Science

Anna Henson, Freshman, Marketing

Chandana Penukonda, Senior, Finance

BioBubbler: The BioBubbler is made from indigenous material and does not require chemicals or electricity to use. It is a slow sand filtration system that eliminates bacteria in water by absorption, predation, natural death, and oxygen depletion. Significant Social Impact1st Place$4,000 Rachel Paquette, Senior, Biology

Nawal Khan, Junior, Marketing and Management

Nerdonyx: Nerdonyx is a place where theory meets application. This team is helping to encourage anyone who wants to be an engineer or scientist to pursue their dream. Significant Social Impact2nd Place$2,000 Ryan Hart, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Shiv Sharma, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering

Kyle Vigeant, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Timothy Pflanz,  Senior, Electrical Engineering

Anupama Purohit, Graduate, MBA

Kyle Homan, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Albert Andino-Aponte, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Termagen®/TermaGreen: Termagen is our waste heat recovery solutions company that has innovated the heat recovery mechanism known as the organ rankine cycle. We have innovated the design of this machine to make a significant difference in its operations. Contribution to a Sustainable Environment1st Place$4,000 Gregory Bohenko, Senior, Business

Aaron Stafford, Senior, Business

Alexander Martinez, Freshman, Business, Economics and Mathematics

OTTOnomous Technology:  OTTOnomous Technology is a novel soltuion for replacing camshsfts in car engines with electro-mechanical actuators. Innovative Technology Solution1st Place$4,000 Erik Christiansen, Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Victor Maldonado, Senior, Accounting and Global Business

Jeremy Dorson, Senior, Electrical Engineering

Fresh Beets: Fresh Beets is a food truck and music venue that unites three discrete areas that the Greater Lowell community values highly into one vehicle of change. By combining food, music and education, Fresh Beets will turn any street corner, stake park, festival, or parking lot in Lowell into a total experience which feeds the mind, body and soul. First to Market1st Place$4,000 Savannah Marshall, Graduate, Community Music
Treehouse: Treehouse is a website & phone application that connects friends with plans, events, and small businesses nearby. First to Market2nd Place$2,000—Tied with ZHOOM James Abdallah, Senior, Finance and Marketing
ZHOOM: ZHOOM is a mobile application that improves the dining experience and service in restaurants. The features of ZHOOM include an online menu, mobile ordering functionality and payment system and customer reviews. First to Market2nd Place$2,000—Tied with Treehouse Chuen Hong Lau, Graduate, Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship

Wai Yuen Tang, Junior, Electrical Engineering

Dan Coughlin, Graduate, MBA

Darin Eidens, Graduate, Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship

TutorTrack: TutorTrack is a mobile application that makes it easy for tutors to track, add, and edit their time slots and for students to subscribe a book a time slot. Honorable Mention$1,000 Madhumathi Prakash, Sophomore, Computer Science

Virinchi Balabhadrapatruni, Sophomore, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Disha Amin, Junior, Computer Science

iHand: The iHand is a concept integrating retinal scanning technology into a full arm, shoulder to fingertips, prosthetic. Honorable Mention$1,000 James Whiting, Freshman, Mechanical Engineering

Zihao Gao, Freshman, Chemical Engineering

Chat UML: Chat UML, a non-profit, will reach those in need of emotional help through a dedicated website where participants will chat with a Chat UML volunteer about what ever issue they feel a need to. We hope to assist people before their situation escalates and becomes a crisis. Honorable Mention$1,000 Brittany Morris, Freshman, Psychology

Kiara Cole, Sophomore, Business

Jon Madden, Senior, Computer Science

Lauren Jendrock, Freshman, Psychology

Peter Potash, Ph.D., Computer Science

Prevention’s Possible: The mission of this project is to use creative mediums and personal experience to reach today’s youth with the expectation that WE CAN prevent tragic outcomes! Honorable Mention$1,000 Matthew Clarke, Senior, Liberal Arts

Nick Pedini, Freshman, Sociology/Legal Studies

S.imulated A.ction T.esting: A gaming option for S.A.T. testing for students who have testing anxiety. Honorable Mention$1,000 Niki Roberge, Senior, English

Amalfi Reyes, Senior, English

Kaylen Harris, Junior, English

Lisa Jackson, Junior, Peace and Conflict Studies

Mr. Meds: Mr. Meds is a mobile robot used in a hospital pharmacy for medication organization, scheduling, and distribution Fan Favorite$1,000 Philip Colangelo, Graduate, Computer Science

Bryan Nguon, Junior, Computer Engineering

Curtis Quintal, Senior, Computer Science

Vikas Subramani, Graduate, Computer Engineering

Gianni Falzone, Graduate, Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship

Please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker to learn more!

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Preliminary Pitch-Offs: April 4, 2014

DifferenceMakerTM held its 2014 Preliminary Pitch-Off on Friday April 4th from 2-6pm. 42 student teams pitched their innovative ideas making this event a great success! These teams were categorized into 6 groups depending on their projects topic. These categories included IT/Software/Apps, Healthcare/Medical Devices/Well-being, Technology/Energy/Environment, Community/Non-profit, Consumer Products and Education Innovations.  These 6 groups each contained 7 team projects that pitched to a panel of 4 judges simultaneously utilizing 6 UMass Lowell rooms. These rooms included DifferenceMaker Central, Lydon Library Quiet Study, Lydon Library Computer Lab, Saab Emerging Technology and Innovation Center Room 245, 345 and 445.

The 24 UMass Lowell Alumni judges that dedicated themselves to this event were:

Lew Leathersich Michelle Massaro John Cadigan Michael Morin Glenn Morgan Louis Beaudette
Jonathan Geanakos Wendy LaBate Michael Callahan Susan Stemporzewski Anthony Zona Michael Rider
James Regan Steven Geyster Joseph Lane Brian Rist Raymond Southworth Bryce Anderson
George Yfantopulos David Basile Andrew Sutherland Ethan Jacks William Rizos Christopher White

The Preliminary Pitch-Off event began at 2pm in the Saab Emerging Technology and Innovation Center with registration, networking and food. The event concluded around 6pm with the announcement of the 12 finalists that will be moving on to the 2nd Annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge being held on Tuesday, April 15th from 5-9pm (Register here).

Congratulations to the Finalist Teams:

Nerdonyx: Nerdonyx is a place where theory meets application. This team is helping to encourage anyone who wants to be an engineer or scientist to pursue their dream.

S.imulated A.ction T.esting: A gaming option for S.A.T. testing for students who have testing anxiety.

Prevention’s Possible: The mission of this project is to use creative mediums and personal experience to reach today’s youth with the expectation that WE CAN prevent tragic outcomes!

SOS: Support Our Students: This Campus Community Shop at UMass Lowell would be a centrally located resource for students of low-income or those in need of assistance. It would also serve as a resource center for community engagement, for credit service placements and volunteer opportunities in the area.

Chat UML: Chat UML, a non-profit, will reach those in need of emotional help through a dedicated website where participants will chat with a Chat UML volunteer about what ever issue they feel a need to. We hope to assist people before their situation escalates and becomes a crisis.

iHand: The iHand is a concept integrating retinal scanning technology into a full arm, shoulder to fingertips, prosthetic.

BioBubbler:  The BioBubbler is made from indigenous material and does not require chemicals or electricity to use. It is a slow sand filtration system that eliminates bacteria in water by absorption, predation, natural death, and oxygen depletion.

OTTOnomous Technology: OTTOnomous Technology is a novel soltuion for replacing camshsfts in car engines with electro-mechanical actuators.

Treehouse: Treehouse is a website & phone application that connects friends with plans, events, and small businesses nearby.

ZHOOM: ZHOOM is a mobile application that improves the dining experience and service in restaurants. The features of ZHOOM include an online menu, mobile ordering functionality and payment system and customer reviews.

Fresh Beets: Fresh Beets is a food truck and music venue that unites three discrete areas that the Greater Lowell community values highly into one vehicle of change. By combining food, music and education, Fresh Beets will turn any street corner, stake park, festival, or parking lot in Lowell into a total experience which feeds the mind, body and soul.

TutorTrack: TutorTrack is a mobile application that makes it easy for tutors to track, add, and edit their time slots and for students to subscribe a book a time slot.

Termagen®/ TermaGreen: Termagen is our waste heat recovery solutions company that has innovated the heat recovery mechanism known as the organ rankine cycle. We have innovated the design of this machine to make a significant difference in its operations.

  • This team was the winner of the 2013 DCU Innovation Contest with their project called Autocredit, a banking application. They have chosen to pitch their other project, TermaGreen in the finals instead of Autocredit.

These 13 teams will be presenting a 5 minute rocket pitch to a panel of alumni judges for a chance to share in $35,000 in prizes and services. In addition, a “fan favorite” prize will be awarded to the team with the best poster. The 2nd Annual DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge will take place on Tuesday, April 15th from 5-9pm in the Saab Emerging Technologies and Innovation Center. If you are interested in attending this event please register.

 

 

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Workshop 4: Identifying Resources

DifferenceMakerTM held its forth workshop event last night, on Wednesday March 5th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. Over 40 students were in attendance! This workshop taught DifferenceMaker students how to identify all the resources needed to further their projects and ideas.

The night began with networking, pizza and soda. Then Professor Chad Montrie, from the College of Fine Arts Humanities and Social Sciences engaged the student audience through an interactive PowerPoint presentation that included group brainstorming activities along the way. This presentation, as well as the open discussion layout of this workshop allowed students to uncover the resources needed for their specific projects. This included funding, team members, specialists, physical space, software and more.  At the end of this workshop students were broken into teams to brainstorm every resource needed for a specific project. Those teams then presented to the student audience and received feedback.

To end the night Professor Steven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development presented a sample 3 minute rocket pitch. This pitch was an example of what is expected of each student team at the Preliminary Pitch-off and Final Idea Challenge events.

If you could not make it to this workshop, please view the DifferenceMaker resource page where all workshop materials will be posted for your convenience within 24-48 hours after each event. In addition, pitch coaching will be taking place on March 24th and 25th. Each DifferenceMaker applicant will be receiving an email to schedule a time for coaching. For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker Program, please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker or email us: differencemaker@uml.edu.

 

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Workshop 3: Developing Solutions

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DifferenceMakerTM held its third workshop event last week, on Friday February 28th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. Despite being held on a Friday evening, over 30 students were in attendance! This workshop taught DifferenceMaker students how to develop a solution to their projects problem.

 

The night began with networking, pizza and soda. Then Professor Valerie Kijewski, Associate professor in the Manning School of Business engaged the student audience through an exciting PowerPoint presentation that included fun educational video clips. This presentation, as well as the videos discussed the ways to go about developing a solution to a chosen problem. This included talking to specific customers, assessing the pains and gains associated with that problem and solution, and conducting market research.

IMG_20140228_181846At the end there was an open discussion where students were able to talk about and address any problems they were facing thus far. Professor Kijewski, Professor Tom O’Donnell, and Professor Deb Finch, all from the Manning School of Business were at the workshop and able to answer each question asked. The student audience found this quite helpful because each of their projects are very different from one another (for profit, non-profit, technology based, service based and so on) so it allowed for specific feedback and guidance.

If you could not make it to this workshop, please view the DifferenceMaker resource page where all workshop materials will be posted for your convenience within 24-48 hours after each event. In addition, please attend our last workshop (Identifying Resources) this Wednesday, March 5th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker Program, please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker or email us: differencemaker@uml.edu.

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Workshop 2: Assessing Opportunities

DifferenceMakersTM held its second workshop event last night, on Wednesday February 19th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. The audience surpassed all expectations again with 45 students in attendance!  This workshop taught DifferenceMaker students how to assess the opportunity that is associated with their chosen problem.

The night began with networking, pizza and soda. Then Professor Steven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development engaged the student audience through another informative PowerPoint presentation. This presentation discussed the ways to go about assessing the opportunity associated with a given project.  This includes, who are the customers, where are they located and so on.

He then asked each student to break into their DifferenceMaker teams and begin discussing their projects opportunity by writing information on a poster board. Each team then had the chance to present their opportunity to the entire audience. To end the night, Professor Tom O’Donnell from the Manning School of Business discussed the importance of protecting ones intellectual property and the resources DifferenceMakers has to assist with that.

If you could not make it to this workshop, please view the DifferenceMaker resource page where all workshop materials will be posted for your convenience within 24-48 hours after each event. In addition, please attend Workshop 3: Developing Solutions, on Friday February 28th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker Program, please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker or email differencemaker@uml.edu.

 

 

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Workshop 1: Identifying Problems and Team Building Mixer

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DifferenceMakerTM held its first workshop event last night, on Tuesday February 11th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. The expected audience was approximately 30 students; however, an astonishing 60+ students attended this workshop in order to learn more about the program, how to identify the problem they want to solve and proactive ways they can build their teams.

ws1p2The night began with networking, pizza and soda. Then Professor Steven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development engaged the student audience through an enlightening PowerPoint presentation. This presentation discussed the DifferenceMaker Program, $25-50k Idea Challenge, how to define and refine a concrete problem to solve and ways to build an effective team.  He then asked each student to stand up and give a 1-2 minute introduction of themselves, their major, idea and team. This introduction activity spurred conversations between teams and individuals and also aided in the team building process.

ws1p3To end the night, Professor Ralph Jordan discussed why team building is imperative to a successful project. He then asked each student to write their project idea on a poster board and stick it to the wall in order to promote networking amongst the entire audience. Each student had the opportunity to meet one another, share their ideas and build their teams.
Workshop 1 proved to be a great success.

If you could not make it to this workshop, please view the DifferenceMaker resource page where all workshop materials will be posted for your convenience within 24-48 hours after each event. In addition, please attend Workshop 2: Assessing Opportunities, on Wednesday February 19th from 6-7:30pm in Kitson 309 on North Campus. For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker Program, please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker or email differencemaker@uml.edu.

 

 

Press Release – 2014 DifferenceMaker™ Kick-off Events

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DifferenceMaker held its two spring kick-off events from 6-7:30pm on Monday, January 27th, in the Saab, ETIC Atrium on North Campus and on Tuesday, January 28th, in the O’Leary Library Mezzanine on South Campus. Over 30 students attended each event to meet real-life DifferenceMaker students, be introduced to DifferenceMaker faculty and staff, and to learn more about the program, applying to it and the Idea Challenge which is taking place this spring on April 15th.

IDEA_SOUT_KICKOFFSteven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, began each kick-off by introducing the program. Professor Deb Finch from the Manning School of Business and Professor John Brown from the Graduate School of Education then presented the upcoming Idea Challenge at the north and south kick-off events, respectively. Holly Butler, Program Manager then interviewed multiple real-life DifferenceMaker students that went through the process last year and won. At the north campus kick-off event these students included, Jonathan DeAlderete and Erin Keaney from NONSPEC and Santiago Paredes and Rohit Krishnan from HIVE. At the south campus kick-off event these students included Kevin Doherty from @That, Vanessa Colomba from Bright Future Generation, and Andrew Webb from Grab a Bite. These real-life DifferenceMaker students were asked a series of questions regarding their projects, their process through DifferenceMaker, and their success at the 2013 Idea Challenge.  This panel engaged the student audience as they asked additional questions and spoke to the various teams.

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The events both ended with an engaging team building exercise where students were able to network with their peers from various majors. They were then asked to share their ideas with everyone and won a prize for doing so.

 

For more information regarding the DifferenceMaker program, please visit www.uml.edu/differencemaker or email differencemaker@uml.edu.