2018 Workshop Series: Delivering Your Rocket Pitch

This past Wednesday, February 28th, our last workshop in the series was held in Lydon Library, Room 110, from 5:30-7:30PM. This workshop was focused on delivering your rocket pitch to the judges at the Idea Challenge.

Faculty Fellows Michelle Bazin, and John Brown took control of this workshop. Michelle is the Co-Director of Legal Studies, and John is the Program Advisor for Undergraduate Education Minor. They gave awesome advice on their experience with speaking in front of large crowds, and giving presentations, which they do almost everyday.

Some students were brave enough to do their pitch on a whim, and impressed us all!

We hope this workshop helped you feel more prepared for one of the most nerve-racking parts of the Idea Challenge. Also, a big thank you to everyone who attended this years workshop series. Good luck to all students in the Idea Challenge!

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2018 Workshop Series 3: Developing Business Models

On February 26th, we hosted our third workshop in our workshop series. The topic for this workshop was developing business models. Over 30 students showed up, eager to participate in the event, and there was even a delicious turkey dinner!

The speakers for this workshop were faculty fellows Tom O’Donnell and Hunter Mack. They each worked off of each other and made a great presentation on the ways to develop a business model, with interesting videos and step by step processes.

Students periodically stopped to reflect, and used boards to formulate their own business model template. Lots of brainstorming was happening!

Thank you to everyone for coming and making this workshop so much fun. We hope the information you learned was useful in your preparation for the Idea Challenge!


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2018 Workshop Series 2: Assessing Opportunities and Value Propositions

Our second series in our Workshop Series was held last night, February 22nd, in Lydon Library Room 110. From 5:30-7:30PM. The focus on this workshop was Assessing Opportunities and Value Propositions. Students learned more about assessing the opportunities related to their project, as well as their project’s value, all while enjoying some yummy baked potatoes!

The workshop was led by Faculty Fellows Brent Shell, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, and Neil Shortland, FAHSS. Their presentations were filled with fun and kept us laughing! Brent presented on the opportunities surrounding each teams problem, while Neil tackled the value on each project. They each gave very unique perspectives.

Students then went one by one giving examples of aspects of their project, such as target markets, and establishing a need in solving their problem. They really sold their problems and the need for a solution.

We had a lot of fun with this workshop, and we hope you can make it to the others next week:

Developing Business Models- Feb. 26th, 5:30-7:30PM

Delivering Your Rocket Pitch- Feb. 28th, 5:30-7:30PM

See you there!

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2018 Workshop Series 1: Identifying Problems

Our Workshop series kicked off yesterday, starting with Identifying Problems. This workshop was focused on identifying problems that you’re passionate about solving. There was also the opportunity to meet potential teammates, and gain knowledge and experience to help you move your project forward!

Over 40 individuals and teams met in Lydon Library, Room 110, at 5:30PM to brainstorm ideas and identify the problems, big or small, that they wanted to solve in the world! Lots of pizza and cookies were also served!

Our Faculty Fellow, Mazen El Ghaziri, led the workshop and helped students formulate clear problems without diving into the solutions too early. Students were broken into groups periodically, and asked to present their problems to the group. There were so many unique ideas ranging from apps to find restaurants for people with dietary restrictions, to indestructible phones.

We thank everyone for coming and having fun! Don’t forget to come to our other workshops next week:

Developing Business Models- Feb. 26th, 5:30-7:30PM

Delivering Your Rocket Pitch- Feb. 28th, 5:30-7:30PM

We hope everyone can make them. Keep preparing for the Idea Challenge!

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2018 Idea Challenge Kick-off & Idea Hack

This past Monday, February 12th, after a snow storm and a rescheduling, we finally held our 2018 Idea Challenge Kick-off from 5:30 to 7PM in the Saab ETIC Atrium located on North Campus. There was a large array of food, and the night started with some light networking as everyone got set up. We had over 45+ students attending this event! Steve Tello, Vice Provost for Innovation and Workforce Development, started the event with an overview of the program and a brief explanation of this years Idea Challenge.

Shortly after, a panel of students and alumni was lead by Neil Shortland, Director for the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies, and Assistant Professor. The panel included Rajia Abdelaziz from Invisawear, Craig Kelly & Julie Ballo with eNable, and Kierra Walsh with UML Green Roofs. They talked about their experiences with DifferenceMaker and how they were able to turn their ideas into a reality.

To close the night, Ha Pho, Manager of DifferenceMaker led an Idea Hack. Students were asked to form groups based on their ideas. Some examples of categories were Social Responsibility, Opioid Challenge, Mobile Application, and Health and Wellness. Teams were asked to brainstorm problems related to their category, and then try and form a solution. One team member from each group would then describe their problem and solution!

It was so exciting to see the students working together to come up with ideas, and having fun! We’re thankful to everyone who came, and we hoped some students will take their ideas and apply to the Idea Challenge. Applications close February 19th!

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2018 Freshmen DifferenceMaker Seminar

This past Friday, February 9th, we held our 2018 Freshman DifferenceMaker Seminar in Olney, room 150, on North Campus. Freshman from different classes piled in to the big lecture hall to hear the experiences from three current and previous DifferenceMaker teams!

DifferenceMaker Director, Holly Butler, led a panel of students and alumni to discuss their experience with DifferenceMaker, and how their success has continued after receiving mentorship. The three teams were eNable Lowell, Invisawear, and UML Greenroofs. Each answered questions and gave great advice like “don’t be afraid to ask for advice” and “don’t be afraid to start.”

After, the audience was able to ask the panel questions. Questions ranged from asking Invisawear about their product, to “would you consider going on shark tank.”

We hope the seminar was resourceful, and we are excited to see people come to DifferenceMaker Central to share their ideas with us!


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eNables 2nd Annual Comedy Show Fundraiser!

Come support eNable!

eNable is hosting their 2nd Annual Comedy Show Fundraiser at University Crossing, Moloney Hall, on February 21st, from 6-9 PM! Come stop by to see comedian Graig Murphy headline. There will also be live music, auctions, raffles, and loads of food! You can’t miss out!

You can purchase tickets for $35/person at their website: https://enablelowell.weebly.com/2018fundraiser.html

Also, if you reserve a table for 8 or more, you can get a discounted price of $30/person

They have also recently announced there will be tickets sold with a student discount, for only $20! You can email Team@eNableLowell.com to reserve your student ticket. Make sure to have your student ID handy.

Hope you can make it!


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EXTENDED 2018 Idea Challenge Application

Due to the snow day on Feb. 7th, and the rescheduling of our other events, the application deadline for the Idea Challenge has been extended to February 19th, by 5P.M.

Make sure to still attend our Kick-off event, now on February 12th in the Saab ETIC Atrium at 5:30P.M.

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2017 DCU Innovation Contest

This Tuesday, December 5th, the DCU Innovation Contest was held in the SAAB ETIC, Perry Atrium, from 6 to 9PM. The event started with pizza, drinks, and networking.

Dean Sandra Richtermeyer addressed the crowd praising their drive to succeed in business, and Steve Tello, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, kicked off the competition!

Four teams went ahead of the panel of judges, including Jim Regan, CEO of Digital Federal Credit Union, Sarah LaLiberte, ’06, Owner & Founder, Mainspire Marketing, and Vasilios Roussos, Managing Director, Fintech Innovation Center. Teams then made a ten-minute presentation on their banking and/or financial innovations.

First up was Team ATMPal. Their team consisted of members Xuan Bui, Zachary Fay, Andre Ragel, and Greg Smelkov. They presented their idea on a mobile app that allows users to find the nearest ATM, and then sort them by free ATM charge.

The next team to go was Guided Savings Projector. Members included Kaitlyn Hanerfeld, Kristen Bauer, and Eli Gukovsky. Their idea was an app that allows users to enter their earnings per week or year, and they will be provided with a projection on a sliding scale of 1-100 of the percentage they would like to save.

After was Team Cheetahead. Thomas Stranberg, Bryan Desrosiers, Ethan Gariepy, and Steve Alger presented their recommendations for Digital Federal Credit Union to create an educational cryptocurrencies tool that can clarify, monitor, and help its investor to use cryptocurrencies to their full potential.

Lastly, Team True to You pitched their idea of a security software for the banking industry, which utilize facial recognition and block chain technology to improve the mobile clients’ financial data. Team members included Gregory Montemurro and Dave Seybert.

The judges deliberated, and then announced the winners.

In fourth place was ATMPal. Third place went to Guided Savings Projector. Cheetahead took home second, and lastly first place went to True to You! Each member of the semi-finalist teams went home with $100 each, and the members of True to You took home $500 each!


Thank you to everyone who participated, and congratulations to the teams! We hope to see everyone’s ideas submitted into the 2018 $50,000 Idea Challenge!




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2017 FAHSS Creative Venture Competiton

On Wednesday, December 6th, the Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Creative Venture Competition was held. Students, faculty, and spectators piled into Room 222 of O’Leary Library to get a glimpse of students brilliant ideas. Student teams presented in front of a panel of esteemed judges who then chose their favorite idea.

To kick off the event, Dean Luis M. Falcón introduced all the judges and a little bit about them.

Judges included: Glenn Morgan, a graduate of the University of Lowell, who then went on to become the founder and CEO of Skyworld interactive until he sold his share in the business last year. He is now full-time consulting on mergers and acquisitions, operations, digital services and account profitability for New England’s leading full-service ad agencies; Jack Ford, a graduate of Lowell State College where he earned degrees in Education and History, and eventually completed his masters at Clark University. Jack currently is the principal at JF3 consulting, which provides strategy and acquisition consulting to corporate clients. Lastly, Danielle McFadden, a graduate of UMass Lowell in 2007, who is now the President of the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce and has been for over 6 years now.

The first team to present was a one member team of Lindsay MacDonald, a Senior Psychology major, with her idea, Mindsense, an “educational social service that provides schools with mindfulness training using an organic community-based approach to grow an environment of mindfulness in the educational setting.”

Next was Team Personalized Learning. Personalized Learning’s members included Daniel Falcone, ManojReddy Dumpa, Tejaswini Gaddam, Troy Lamontagne, Michael Nelson, Daniel Santos, Karansinh Thakor, and KavyaKumar Vallurupalli. Their idea is “a web platform that utilizes psychology and adaptive matchmaking that gives recommendations to students based on their personality, learning styles and study habits to find the optimal professor for every class they need to take.”

The next team to present was Team Project Pace. The team included members Matthew Chigas, Brenna Ambrose, Kyle Cooper, Daniel Gonzalez, Matthew Levenson, and Colleen Silva. Project Pace pitched an idea for an “online platform for young people to discuss uncomfortable topics surrounding extremism. The platform provides tailored educational contents to a target audience of 13 to 25-year-olds to provide them with tools they need to counter misinformation.”

Lastly, Team App Development pitched their idea of “an online platform with people with similar interests, race, career, pass, religion etc. can become connected. The platform primarily targets individuals who are new to a city, people who are postgraduate and are looking to build relationships and attend different activities in the community.” App Developments members included Bethsaida Saint-Vil, Information Technology, Graduate and Shamilah Ulysse, Education Administration, Graduate.

First place with a $5,000 prize went to Project Pace!!

Thank you to everyone for coming and to all the teams who participated! We hope to see teams submit their ideas into our 2018 $50,000 Idea Challenge!

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