Press Release

New Contest Rewards Entrepreneurs for Urban Resilience Ideas

$125,000 will be awarded for winning submissions

(New York, NY – May 11, 2020) 

QBE North America is pleased to announce the launch of The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge powered by Leading Cities. The Challenge was developed to help accelerate innovations that foster a more resilient world—which is more important than ever in today’s environment. 

Around the world, our cities are at the forefront of technological growth and innovation. But as recent events have made drastically clear, these same urban areas also face enormous risk. From public health emergencies and natural disasters, to economic shifts and changes in demographics, cities must endure a number of complex challenges – making resilience essential to their success.

Now, QBE and Leading Cities are partnering to help cities build that resilience. Together we’re launching the QBE AcceliCITY Urban Challenge, a global competition seeking entrepreneurs whose ventures leverage smart city solutions that help cities manage and respond to physical, economic and social risk.  QBE Accelicity will both recognize and support these innovators, while providing feedback that helps to streamline their technologies and ideas. Winners will also receive funding and additional resources to help make their initiatives a reality, and prepare them to be adopted by cities across the country. 

“The health of our cities are vital to the health of our country, our economy and our way of life,” pointed out Todd Jones, CEO of QBE North America and President of the QBE Foundation. “At QBE, it’s in our DNA to provide support where needed, and we look at our cities and see they are in critical need of sustainability and the capability to react in the most difficult of times. The QBE Accelicity Resilience Challenge gives us the opportunity to help find and deliver solutions that are both innovative and long lasting.” 

Bolstered by the success of previous programs, QBE and Leading Cities are proud to come together to help our urban areas thrive – especially in a time when preparedness and crisis response are top of mind.   

“As cities scramble to adapt to ‘new norms’ we are turning to smart city startups to help provide the agility and ingenuity to heal some of the most painful wounds felt by communities everywhere,” says Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “This program builds the needed bridge to cross the very real divide between cities and startups.”

QBE Accelicity is now accepting applications for its accelerator program culminating with a Boot Camp in Boston and a Pitch Day in New York City, where start-ups will have the opportunity to win $125,000 in funding. Last year’s edition of the contest brought more than 500 applications from 43 countries. 

If your enterprise is ready to be a part of the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, more information and applications are available at The deadline for start-ups is June 15th. 

About QBE 

QBE North America, an Integrated Specialist Insurer, is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the largest insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE NA reported Gross Written Premiums in 2019 of $4.7 billion. QBE Insurance Group's 2019 results can be found at Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 31 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 Twitter.

About AcceliCITY

At its core, AcceliCITY leverages the Leading Cities network of forward thinkers in the public, private, academic and non-profit sectors. 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.