Virgin Media Business has announced the winners of its inaugural Three New Things competition. The contest was launched as part of the company's search to uncover new technologies that have the potential to change the way we live. This year's winning tech includes shoes, solar power and satellites.

Participants were invited to enter the Three New Things contest in January of this year, with Virgin Media Business saying that the aim was to, "unearth ideas and projects that have not yet gained attention and give them a platform that will propel them into the public domain." Around 100 entries were submitted in total and the competition winners were announced at an event at the British Film Museum.

The competition was judged by a panel made up of UK innovators and entrepreneurs, including tech commentator Monty Munford, quantum computing and nanotechnology expert Dr. Ling Ge and Technology Strategy Board digital consultant Emily Memarzia. The judging, which took place at the end of February, was led by Virgin Media Business managing director Peter Kelly.

The overall winning entry, having won the people's favorite award as well as being one of the three entries selected by the panel of judges, was Three Over Seven's custom footwear. The company's service allows users to scan their feet using a smartphone app and receive custom-fit, partly 3D-printed shoes within 24 hours. The shoes are manufactured from wool and are specifically designed for sockless wear.

3DSat's CubeSat casings for satellites

Also selected by the judging panel were Buffalo Grid's solar-powered charging hubs that allow entrepreneurs in developing countries to charge their customers' mobile devices, along with 3DSat's CubeSat casings for satellites, that are made from a new "space-resistant" material and are 3D printed to minimize costs.

The three winners will receive £25,000 (US$42,000) of business telecoms, a meeting with Sir Richard Branson to discuss their projects, and mentoring from the Virgin Media Business Senior Management Team.

Keep an eye on Gizmag over the next week or so for more about the winners.

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