Top GovTech Accelerator Expands to Serve the World

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Top GovTech Accelerator Expands to Serve the World

QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge Opens Applications April 1-30th

Boston, MA, April 4, 2022 – Leading Cities is pleased to announce the launch of the 2022 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge in partnership with QBE North America for the fourth consecutive year. The global competition, ranked among the top 5 GovTech accelerators in the world, accelerates the growth of start-up companies transforming cities worldwide.

“As a company that helps people and businesses protect themselves from risk, we recognize the critical need to help form urban resilience in our communities,” said Todd Jones, CEO of QBE North America and President of the QBE Foundation.

“We look forward to partnering with those on the cutting edge of developing solutions that will make a difference for our world by addressing emerging risks and providing advantageous results for cities here and around the world.”

This year, QBE and Leading Cities are expanding this globally recognized program to better reach entrepreneurs and smart city start-ups in the Asia/Pacific region by offering their unique business-to-government curricula in AcceliCITY East and AcceliCITY West. This development signals the growth and success of the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge and the demand for such a unique curriculum around the world.

“Prior to the pandemic, most cities thought of smart city solutions or even innovation itself as a ‘nice to have,’ however, one positive outcome of this global health crisis is that it helped cities to see that such innovative solutions are actually a must have,” said Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “Local communities must accept the challenge facing them— either become more resilient, more sustainable, and more equitable or pay a devastating price for the status quo.”

As communities emerge from the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, they are embracing the need for resilience, sustainability, and digital transformation. The city of Gainesville, Florida, is Leading Cities’ sponsor of this year’s AcceliCITY Smart Challenge. City leaders focused the challenge on addressing urban food issues. From urban agriculture and food packaging to consumption and waste, this challenge will provide the winning start-up with a paid pilot project to address the needs of the Gainesville community. More about Industry 4.0’s impact on the Food & Beverage industry.

“We value opportunities like the Smart City Challenge that will help the City of Gainesville reach its goals to deliver a sustainable food system to our neighbors,” said Sheyla DeSantana, City of Gainesville smart city coordinator. “Leading Cities’ assistance in identifying candidates ready to implement pilot projects will be invaluable to meet the needs of our challenge area,” she said.

The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge offers two $25,000 People’s Choice Awards, the paid pilot project in Gainesville, and a Grand Prize of $100,000 in funding for the winning venture to implement a pilot project. Previous organizations to win the challenge include Pharem Biotech, which removes pharmaceuticals and other organic micropollutants that pass through wastewater treatment facilities; Bioo, who leveraged innovative technology solutions to address climate change; and DrugViu, which aimed to solve for greater health equity for minorities.

Competition details

  • Submissions will close on April 30th, 2022
  • Semi-finalists will take part in a three-month virtual accelerator program
  • Finalists will participate in a B2G boot camp and pitch competition
  • One winner will receive $100,000 and a pilot project in a city while two additional prizes of $25,000 each will also be awarded, and another winner will receive a paid pilot urban food project in the city of Gainesville, Florida.
  • Additionally, all semi-finalists and finalists will receive additional resources and access to valuable connections to help scale their initiatives globally, including membership to Leading Cities’ first in the world virtual co-working space, LaunchPad 11, that is clusters start-ups, corporations, industry experts, investors and city leaders from around the world daily in one virtual community.

To apply or find out more about the challenge, please visit

For more information:

Joaquin Rodriguez,

About Leading Cities

Leading Cities is a non-profit organization that drives resilience and sustainability for all by unleashing the potential of the world’s cities. Leading Cities connects cities across the globe with innovations and insights by delivering advanced research, emerging trends, and new technologies that improve the quality of life in urban centers.

QBE AcceliCITY, a signature program, leverages the Leading Cities network of forward thinkers in the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors to advance innovation in local governments. The program lowers the cost and risk of innovation for startups as well as cities and corporations by streamlining the innovation and sales cycles for Smart City solutions.

You can learn more at or by following Leading Cities on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

About QBE

QBE North America is a global insurance leader focused on helping customers solve unique risks, so they can focus on what matters most. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2020 of $4.775 billion. QBE Insurance Group’s 2020 results can be found at

Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 27 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America division, headquartered in New York, conducts business through its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. The actual terms and coverage for all lines of business are subject to the language of the policies as issued. QBE insurance companies are rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and “A+” by Standard & Poor’s. Additional information can be found at or follow QBE North America on LinkedIn and Twitter.