Hallam students rise to the new Challenge

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A WOMAN who created a series of tactile maps to help visually impaired people find their way around London’s Olympic Park is in the running for a top prize.

Patricia Dieng is one of seven former Sheffield Hallam students to have reached the finals of this year’s Sheffield Hallam University Enterprise Challenge.

Other finalists include Mike Moore, Julie Bishop, Chloe Oakland and Katie Stalker and David Hewitt and Mark Tuckett.

Patricia Dieng completed an MA in industrial design and then worked as a design researcher before launching TacMap, which makes maps that help people with visual impairment to navigate buildings and venues by identifying where key features like the lifts and the exits are.

Since developing TacMaps for the Olympic Park, she has gone on to design tactile maps which will soon be available for the Royal Victoria Holiday Inn in Sheffield, Meadowhall Interchange and Pond Street bus station.

Mike Moore is the brains behind Fold, which aims to promote environmentally friendly product design. His firm’s first product is a water-resistant cardboard seat with a drinks holder for music festivals, which can be turned into compost when it is no longer wanted.

Julie Bishop’s business, MapPRoW, creates comprehensive “Rights of Way” packages for local councils, landowners, building developers and others.

Packages include information on Ordnance Survey maps, preparing legal orders, in-house training on public rights of way legislation and negotiating with interested parties.

Chloe Oakland and Katie Stalker have set up Science Party-cles, which aims to enthuse young people about the mysteries of the scientific world.

The duo specialise in organising science themed birthday parties, educational events and events for children with special needs or disabilities, involving interactive and hands-on experiments.

Completing the finalists line up are David Hewitt and Mark Tuckett, who have launched Silver Top Brewing.

Their business aims to be the number one provider of premium quality and distinctive beers and lagers for home consumption and on special occasions.

Hallam’s Enterprise Challenge, in one of the longest-running University competitions for fledgling businesses.