Press Release

QBE North America announces finalists for main track of the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, as well as winners of the property tech track

NEW YORK, NY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2023 — QBE and Leading Cities have announced the 10 finalists for the 2023 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge main track, as well as the four finalists for the property tech track. In this year’s competition, a record-breaking 650 entrepreneurs from 80 countries submitted solutions for driving equity, resilience and sustainability in cities.

In addition to the main track challenge, the 2023 competition also features two auxiliary tracks, a “property tech” track seeking solutions to challenges at the intersection of sustainability and commercial property, and an “agtech” track looking to identify a solution to support America’s small- and mid-size farmers.

The following 10 main track finalists will move on to participate in the QBE AcceliCITY Boot Camp and final pitch event with judges from the World Economic Forum, the Earthshot Prize and Code for America, vying for the top prize of $100,000 in pilot project funding.

  • Aqua Solar Solutions: Cutting-edge technology to generate affordable green electricity as well as fresh water.
  • Flash: An AI/Deep Learning platform that is changing the way we forecast weather by forecasting lightning hazards for the continental U.S.
  • GoodMaps: Turn-by-turn navigation that enables anyone to find their way within the built environment regardless of their routing preferences.
  • itselectric: An urban curbside EV charging network that connects to existing buildings and shares revenue with the host property.
  • SmartAcqua Solutions: Water Losses are growing globally despite investments; existing solutions are not working, and SmartAcqua AI/ML solution can fix it.
  • Stratasite: A cloud-based active threat planning portal that allows emergency responders to create and share coordinated response plans.
  • Sustainaccount: Provides real estate stakeholders with actionable climate intelligence to foster the resilience of buildings.
  • Syrinx: Leaders in nature-based solutions, sustainable technologies and positive impact models.
  • UrbanSky: Provides high-resolution, ultra-low-cost, city-wide aerial imagery using zero-emission balloons.
  • WEO: Creates accessible environmental analytics by harnessing the power space data and AI.

In the proptech track, four finalists - Climasens, Flash, Intelligent AI, and UrbanSky – pitched to a judging panel made up of QBE’s property leaders in North America and International, as well as QBE Ventures. Intelligent AI, a global location intelligence solution that helps identify, measure, predict and mitigate property risks in real time, was selected as the winner, receiving $25,000 and business support from QBE. Additionally, the judges made the decision to extend QBE’s business support to all participating finalists in recognition of the high quality of the solutions they presented.

“Cities experience unique challenges stemming from and complicated by climate change, population density, cyber risk, and resource scarcity. They are looking for practical solutions that can be implemented to make a difference in their local communities,” said Mike Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “AcceliCITY focuses on solutions for real problems and provides support to impact-driven entrepreneurs who are seeking to operationalize their great ideas.”

“As a company that helps people and businesses develop resilience and mitigate risk, QBE is proud to play a role in helping our cities and local governments build resiliency and prepare for a range of environmental and economic risks,” said Chris Castaldo, Chief Financial Officer at QBE, who also serves as Executive Sponsor of the AcceliCITY Challenge. “Our partnership with Leading Cities, now in its fifth year, puts action behind our values and purpose to enable a more resilient future for our communities, customers, and employees.”

About QBE
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 the first half of 2023 of $5 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 and Facebook

About Leading Cities
Leading Cities is a non-profit organization that drives action and solutions for a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future through innovation and education for entrepreneurs, governments, and corporations. Leading Cities connects cities across the globe with innovations and insights by delivering advanced research, emerging trends, and new technologies that improve the quality of life in urban centers. 

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:
MaryBeth Iannaccone
Lead Communications Partner