I recently wrote about the Three New Things contest by Virgin Media and we now have the winners announced. I love innovation forums, stories and actual business models coming to life. I’m an especially avid fan of Richard Branson after watching him speak live and his reality show from years back here in the states. Anyway, down to business. The three winners had some really cool business ideas:
- Mobile Solar Charging Units for the Developing World – The first winner, Buffalo Grid has envisioned businesses giving away solar powered mobile phone charging units for entrepreneurs who live and operate businesses in areas without access to conventional power sources. This is initially planned for Africa, but there’s no reason why this same business model couldn’t be replicated in India, China and all sorts of other emerging economies where power grids are not available for all. See, by allowing customers to charge their phones for free, entreprenuers could sell other wares and services while their customers are charging up. It is a pretty ingenious model after all. The beauty of increased mobile coverage in the emerging markets is that it increases efficiency, reduces waste and increases income for those in need. A typical real-life example seen after introduction of mobile phones is that fishermen coming in from a haul could call around to different villages to see which village would pay the most for their day’s catch, thereby optimizing their profit. Prior to the introduction of cell phones, they’d have to just take their chances upon arriving in their local village.
- Satallite Casings 3-D Printed – The theme of this decade is going to be 3-D printing. I called it a year ago. Well now, CubeSat has created a model whereby they can create small 3-D printed satellite casings for 25% of the original cost. 3-D printing can utilize various materials and create incredible shapes through the additive manufacturing process and this is just one application – you’ll see the next one here, also a winner!
- 3-D Printed Footwear – Another truly cool idea, Three Over Seven has come up with a way to use your mobile phone to scan your feet and then create a perfect fit model shoe based on the dimensions. The day after you place your order, your custom footwear appears! Genious.
Here’s a video to see these ideas in action:
This post was sponsored by Virgin Media.