Accelerating Climate Change Solutions

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Accelerating Climate Change Solutions

QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge Opens Applications April 1-30th

Leading Cities is pleased to announce the launch of the 2023 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge in partnership with QBE for the fifth 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.

“Following the United Nations’ dreadful, but unsurprising, analysis of the lack of progress to date in addressing the climate crisis, cities are now, more than ever, in need of innovative solutions to do things differently,” said Mike Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “Tomorrow is too late, 2030 is too close, and the world has been too slow to combat climate change. Identifying and evaluating new solutions helps communities to adopt these solutions more quickly and time is of the essence.”

“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.”

In light of the United Nations IPCC’s newest climate report, it is clear that action needs to be taken now if we are going to leave a liveable world for the next generation. After a successful launch of our globally expanded AcceliCITY challenge, Leading Cities and QBE are proud to be actively working towards a more sustainable, resilient world and provide opportunities for a truly international advancement in innovation, touching every corner of the world. With over 550 solutions from 70+ countries, the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge is more committed than ever to using pilot-ready and scalable entrepreneurial solutions to work towards a sustainable future that we so urgently needed.

“As the recent UN report has demonstrated once again, we are on a dangerous trajectory toward irreversible impacts of climate change. Cities are on the front lines of combatting this threat to humanity,” said Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “The tools communities have to reduce risks, increase sustainability and ensure resiliency are being developed by talented entrepreneurs globally. The QBE AcceliCITY Challenge connects those solutions with city leaders and prepares them for faster deployment in communities everywhere.”

The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge offers a Smart City Track, with the opportunity to win a $25,000 People’s Choice Award for one company in our Eastern and one in our Western Hemisphere curriculum groups, 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 Automedi, a localized circular recycling economy turning normally non-recyclable plastics into necessary  everyday objects; Pharem Biotech, which removes pharmaceuticals and other organic micropollutants that pass through wastewater treatment facilities; Bioo, which generates electricity from soil; and DrugViu, which aims to solve for greater health equity for minorities.

In addition to the larger Smart City Track, QBE North America is sponsoring two AcceliCITY Smart Challenges this year: the Resilient Buildings Track and the Sustainable Small Farms Track. The winners of these two Smart Challenge tracks will receive $25,000 each, and the ongoing support and mentorship from QBE internationally.  Any chosen semi-finalist applicant for the Smart Challenges will also be given a spot in the larger Smart City AcceliCITY Track.

The Resilient Building Track is available to entrepreneurs whose innovations provide sustainable loss mitigation solutions for the Commercial Property sector. QBE is searching for solutions that will allow them to identify or minimize potential hazards more quickly, lessen the effects of property damage, as well as other creative solutions to property insurance challenges to ensure a more resilient property that can mitigate the hazards of a world facing rapid extreme weather events, unsafe building practices, chemicals, and indoor polluters.

The Sustainable Small Farms Track aims to address the risks that small, independently owned farms face today. The track is available to entrepreneurs whose innovations provide sustainable solutions for the small to mid-size farming community. QBE is open to a variety of solutions for farmers, such as Agtech, distribution channel solutions, risk management, data tracking and more in both the traditional and organic crop sectors. 

Competition details

  • Submissions will close on April 30, 2023
  • Semi-finalists will take part in a three-month virtual accelerator program
  • Finalists will participate in a B2G boot camp and pitch competition
  • Awards:
    • One winner will receive $100,000 and a pilot project in a city
    • Two People’s Choice prizes of $25,000 each
    • $25,000 to the winner of the Resilient Buildings Track
    • $25,000 to the winner for the Sustainable Small Farms Track

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 metaverse space, LaunchPad 11,that 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