QBE opens applications for annual Resilience Challenge
Start-ups and entrepreneurs working to help make cities more equitable, sustainable and resilient are invited to compete for USD$150,000 in prize funding through QBE’s AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge.
The global social innovation competition is now open to applicants across Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and is run in partnership with non-profit organisation Leading Cities to find and support entrepreneurs whose ventures are helping to make cities more resilient.
Jon Fox, Chief Claims Officer, QBE Australia Pacific and Co-Chair of the Australia Pacific QBE Foundation, through which QBE works to support community organisations and is coordinating the Challenge locally, said the need to build urban resilience is critical as the world continues to transform at an unprecedented pace.
“As the world changes, so too do the risks we face. We need to be creating cities across the globe that are prepared for evolving and increasingly severe risks, to help people and businesses protect themselves.”
“Through this challenge, we are looking to find and collaborate with creators of innovative solutions for city ecosystems that will help us build thriving, resilient cities, and change the world.”
Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities, said the challenge provides start-ups, entrepreneurs and city leaders with the opportunity to work together to build cities that will stand resilient against the social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
“There are many complex threats facing cities across the globe. By accelerating the deployment of innovative technological solutions, while also increasing the awareness and confidence that city leaders have in these new solutions, we are also accelerating the resiliency of cities everywhere.”
Led by Leading Cities, participants will be given the opportunity to tap into the wealth of expertise at QBE through one-on-one expert mentoring, speed gatherings, and engagement with QBE Ventures, the venture investment and development arm of QBE.
This year marks the first time a local program is being run for Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. A separate program will be run in tandem with entrants from North America and Europe, with ten finalists selected from across all regions to come together and compete in a final live pitch event.
Of these ten, one winner will be awarded USD$100,000 and two People’s Choice runners up will be awarded USD$25,000 in cash prizes, along with additional resources and introductions to valuable networks and collaboration opportunities to help scale their initiatives.
Previous challenge winners include DrugViu, which aims to create greater health equity for people of colour, and which raised $2 million following the competition, and Bioo, a company that creates 100% renewable energy through plants.
“The calibre of entrants in previous years has been incredibly high,” says Fox. “I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative new ideas that come from this year’s entrants, and to watch our finalists grow and develop their solutions as they progress through the challenge.”
Submissions close 30 April 2022, with finalists to be announced in September 2022. To apply or find out more about the challenge, please visit the AcceliCITY website.
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