Sir Richard Branson
The teams won the chance to meet Sir Richard BransonReuters

Solar charging hubs for the developing world, 3D-printable plastic satellites and printed-to-measure shoes are some of the new technologies that could change the way we live.

These small businesses won the chance to meet with Sir Richard Branson to discuss their ambitions and benefit from a programme of mentoring as well as support and free business telecoms from Virgin Media Business.

"When cutting edge technology meets imagination, the results can be spectacular," said Peter Kelly, managing director of Virgin Media Business.

"Reading these entries has been an inspiring process and has unearthed some genuine game-changers with the power to change lives around the world."

The entries were judged earlier this month by a panel including technology commentator Monty Munford; Dr Ling Ge, an expert in quantum computing and nanotechnology; Ella Weston, who heads up WPP's Stream series of digital events; and Emily Memarzia, a digital consultant for the IC tomorrow programme run by the Government's Technology Strategy Board, who commented on the competition.

Buffalo Grid
Buffalo Grid provides solar-powered charging units for mobile phones

One of the winners, Buffalo Grid, is giving large solar-powered charging units for mobile phones away for free to African entrepreneurs who live in off-grid areas.

This enables them to charge the phones of their customers (of which there are a total of 750 million) who cannot do so at home - making connectivity available to whole new swathes of rural emerging markets.

Another winner, 3D Cube Sat, uses 3D printing to create the casings for tiny satellites.

Thanks to the businesses' new space-resistant material, it can reduce the cost by 75%.

And – because they can be 3D-printed inside another structure already in space - launch costs are also massively lower – making space exploration affordable for the first time.

The final winner, Three Over Seven, enables customers to use their mobile phones to scan their feet, and making the most of 3D printing, this technology will craft a pair of shoes that are an exact fit to a person's foot.