MSI student Lydia Muwanga serves as an officer of SI Create, the School of Information’s student organization on innovation and entrepreneurship, advised by UMSI Associate Professor Victor Rosenberg. With SI Create, she recently organized the first Michigan Business Model Competition and raised $5,000 in prize money.
Currently, she is a tenant at TechArb, the University of Michigan’s Student Business Accelerator, pursuing an early-stage idea called HeartArt, which aims to make art more accessible to the public, as iTunes does for music.
Lydia was born in Denver, Colorado to parents who emigrated from Kampala, Uganda. Her father’s side of the family has a strong entrepreneurial history. Her grandfather founded schools in Uganda, and most of her father’s family run their own businesses. When Lydia was 16 years old, her father helped her found her first graphic design business.
After studying mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines and studio art in Florence, Italy, Lydia moved to Silicon Valley to work at an engineering company.
Current interests include talking to people to find out what causes them pain and/or delight and using those insights to design innovative experiences.
“This is very similar to what we do at UMSI, which is to get at the heart of people’s behavior and to understand it, in order to design the best user experience,” says Lydia. “This is what business modeling is all about, in addition to positioning and selling that experience to the right customers.”
Lydia is specializing in Human-Computer Interaction and will graduate from UMSI in April.