Press Release

QBE seeks entrepreneurs and start-ups to create more resilient cities

New York, NY, April 1, 2021 - QBE North America is pleased to announce it has partnered with non-profit organization Leading Cities to launch the QBE AcceliCITY Urban Resilience Challenge for the third consecutive year. The global competition accelerates the growth of start-up companies transforming cities worldwide.

The Challenge is designed to harness and support technology innovations that create more resilient cities with solutions that address risk, equity, and sustainability.

“As an organization we are uniquely positioned to help people and businesses build resiliency against emerging risks. It’s evident that our cities are in critical need of more resilient solutions to react in difficult times,” said Todd Jones, CEO of QBE North America and President of the QBE Foundation. “The QBE Accelicity Resilience Challenge exemplifies our dedication to create meaningful change and provide needed resources to help people and communities successfully achieve their ambitions.”

The challenge comes with a total prize pool of $150,000 in funding for the winning entrepreneurs or ventures to further develop their ideas and benefit the broader community. Previous organizations to win the challenge include Bioo, who leveraged innovative technology solutions to address climate change, and DrugViu, which aimed to solve for greater health equity for minorities.

Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities, said the cities that will come to thrive in the post-pandemic era are taking advantage of the astounding innovation arising at this time. 

“The QBE AcceliCITY program acts as the vehicle by which start-ups and municipal governments can work together with the goal of driving resilience, equity and sustainability in communities.” 

Competition details

  • Submissions will close on April 30th, 2021
  • Semi-finalists will take part in six-week virtual accelerator program
  • Finalists will participate in a bootcamp and will present a live-pitch session
  • One winner will be awarded $100,000 and two runners up will each be awarded $25,000 in cash prizes, along with additional resources and access to valuable connections to help scale their initiatives

To apply or find out more about the challenge, please visit

For information
Amy Banek,

About QBE

QBE North America is global insurance leader focused on helping customers solve unique risks, so they can focus on what matters most. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2020 of $4.775 billion. QBE Insurance Group's 2020 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 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 LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Leading Cities 

Leading Cities is a non-profit organization that improves global sustainability, resiliency, and quality of life by helping cities achieve their needed transformation through developing Smart and Resilient City Ecosystems, implementing innovative solutions, and reducing the risk and cost of civic innovation.

Leading Cities partners with government leaders, corporations, startup companies, investors, and academics to keep cities evolving and working toward their potential, taking on challenges such as climate change, social justice, automation technology, cyber security, data analytics, accessibility, and global health. 

AcceliCITY, 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.

You can learn more at or by following Leading Cities on Twitter and LinkedIn