Press Release

Top 100 Entrepreneurs Selected to Move to Next Stage of the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge

NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 5, 2024 QBE North America is pleased to announce that, of the more than 740 entries submitted to the AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge this year, the top 100 Smart City solutions have been selected to advance to the next stage of the competition.

Now in its sixth year in collaboration with Leading Cities, the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge is open to global entrepreneurs who have developed pioneering ideas to tackle risk, equity and sustainability challenges in urban environments. The Smart City Track winners will receive up to $150,000 in prize money to fund a city pilot project, as well as publicity, mentoring and access to exclusive online courses.

In addition to the Primary Smart City challenge, two additional specialized tracks are available this year. The Proptech Track targets loss mitigation solutions that identify or minimize potential hazards more quickly, lessen the effects of property damage, decrease business disruption or home evacuation caused by property damage, as well as other creative solutions for challenges at the intersection of commercial property insurance and sustainability. The Humanitarian Track targets solutions that enable global communities to adapt to climate-related impacts, offering the opportunity for participants to find solutions for an Australian Red Cross real-world climate-related problem, delivered by Australian Red Cross Humanitech in collaboration with the Global Disaster Preparedness Centre and supported by the American Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

“QBE is committed to taking tangible steps towards a more resilient future, so our communities are prepared and protected against evolving risks,” said Chris Castaldo, Chief Financial Officer at QBE North America and QBE AcceliCITY Executive Sponsor. “Through the AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, we can support and fund entrepreneurs from around the world who have practical ideas on how to address a range of challenges.

More than 740 companies from 70 countries submitted entries for this year's Challenge, up 14% from last year. Of the top 100 solutions selected to advance in the Smart City Track, 50 are from the Western Hemisphere division and 50 are from the Eastern Hemisphere. In addition, ten entrepreneurs were selected for the Proptech Track and eleven for the Humanitarian Track. These expert-vetted ideas propose solutions that improve sustainable practices for clean water, renewable energy, urban agriculture, property protection and community climate adaptation.

"The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge’s reach discovers solutions to real issues in our communities," said Mike Lake, founder and CEO of Leading Cities. "We help these companies succeed by connecting them with mentors from our global network of smart city experts and city leaders, supporting their journey to create tangible and lasting positive impact in communities worldwide."

With the application process behind them, these companies will now participate in a six-month, web-based curriculum featuring smart city leaders and industry experts from around the world. Companies selected as finalists will then participate in the QBE AcceliCITY Boot Camp, where they will compete for the opportunity to win up to $150,000 to fund a pilot of their solution directly within a community.

Learn more about the Top 100 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Solutions here.


About QBE North America

QBE North America is a global insurance leader helping customers solve unique risks, so they can stay focused on their future. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2023 of $7.6 billion. QBE Insurance Group’s 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 primarily through its insurance company subsidiaries. The actual terms and conditions of any insurance coverage are subject to the language of the policies as issued. Additional information can be found at or follow QBE North America on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


About Leading Cities

Leading Cities is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing city resiliency and sustainability. Through innovative programs like the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, the largest startup accelerator of its kind, Leading Cities connects startups with city governments, experts and investors fostering collaboration to address urban challenges and create more resilient, sustainable and equitable cities. Additional information can be found at or by following Leading Cities on TwitterLinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


About the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge

QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, 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.


Media contact:

Grace Ganske, Communications Specialist