Press Release

Applications Now Open for 2024 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge

NEW YORK, NY, April 1, 2024 — QBE announced today that applications are now open for the 2024 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, powered by Leading Cities. Entrepreneurs with pioneering ideas that leverage smart-city solutions to tackle urban risk, equity and sustainability are encouraged to apply before the deadline on April 30, at

Cities play a pivotal role in addressing global challenges like climate change and community resilience through the development and implementation of impactful solutions. The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge seeks to connect global entrepreneurial ideas with local projects that foster innovation, ensuring positive impacts reach communities around the world. Now entering its sixth year in collaboration with Leading Cities, the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge continues its mission to empower startups dedicated to enhancing resilience in urban environments. Winners of the primary challenge stand a chance to secure funding of up to $150,000 for a city pilot project, as well as benefit from publicity, mentorship and access to exclusive online curricula.

“QBE is committed to fostering innovation that strengthens urban resilience and helps protect businesses and communities from evolving risks,” said Chris Castaldo, Chief Financial Officer at QBE North America and QBE AcceliCITY Executive Sponsor. “Through the AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, our goal is to identify and support entrepreneurs whose solutions contribute to a more resilient future for cities worldwide. It’s a very exciting program and each year keeps getting better.”

Last year’s grand prize winner, itselectric, was recognized as the 2023 City Solution of the Year for their pioneering efforts in advancing electric vehicle infrastructure. Their achievements were highlighted as a testament to collaborative innovation through public-private partnerships that work to accelerate urban sustainability.

"For five years, the QBE AcceliCITY program has been a catalyst for change, embodying this partnership’s commitment to fostering innovation for urban resilience,” said Michael Lake, President and Founder of Leading Cities. “By globally sourcing more than 3,000 solutions, expertly vetting them, and elevating these startups, we've surpassed milestones that include alumni raising over $1 billion and deploying their cutting-edge solutions across cities and businesses. Collectively they have created more than 2,000 jobs and filed more than 225 new patents. These achievements reflect not only the program's impact, but also underscore our dedication to advancing sustainable and resilient urban futures worldwide."

This year, in addition to the primary Smart City challenge, the main track of the program, there are two additional, specialized tracks:

  • The proptech track targets entrepreneurs developing 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 track is open to all entrants globally; however, the program and curricula run in the North American time zone as part of QBE AcceliCITY West. The winner of the proptech track will receive a $25,000 prize.
  • The humanitarian track welcomes entries from entrepreneurs, changemakers and innovators around the world who have solutions that enable global communities to adapt to climate-related impacts. This track offers an opportunity for participants to find solutions for an Australian Red Cross real-world climate-related problem. The track is open to all entrants globally; however, the curricula and program will be delivered in the Asia-Pacific time zone. The program for this track will be delivered in collaboration with Australian Red Cross Humanitech and the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC), supported by American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Winners of the humanitarian track will receive a paid pilot in Australia with Australian Red Cross.

Applicants participating in either specialized track will also automatically be entered into the primary track for consideration to access cash prizes totaling $150,000 for a city pilot project.

Applications for the 2024 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge close on April 30, 2024, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to seize this opportunity to drive innovation and urban resilience. To apply or learn more about the Challenge, visit the AcceliCITY website.

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 Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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 Australian Red Cross Humanitech
Humanitech is an Australian Red Cross initiative harnessing the power of technology to address the biggest challenges facing humanity. As influential thought and brand leaders, Humanitech combines our community-centered approach with global research and insights to shape policy and practice. For 110 years, Australian Red Cross have been experts in bringing global knowledge and stakeholders together to support local communities. Humanitech brings the analog expertise of Australian Red Cross programs working with communities and combines it with cutting-edge technology and mentorship to develop and scale solutions across the world’s biggest humanitarian ecosystem. 
About Global Disaster Preparedness Center and American Red Cross
The American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have established the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) as a reference center to support innovation and learning in disaster preparedness. The GDPC offers knowledge management, research and technical assistance to enhance disaster management capacities of Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies to building community resilience.

Media contact:
Nicole Guzzardi, Lead Communications Partner