The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge Announces Finalists

This year’s QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge has chosen its ten finalists. The Challenge is run by the non-profit Leading Cities and QBE Insurance Group, and seeks tech start-ups working in the area of urban resilience. 

“Challenges such as climate change, population density, cyber risk and pandemics are hastening the need to build thriving, resilient cities and implement new solutions that will change the world,” said Mike Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities.

The ten finalists were selected from over 550 applications, and were chosen based on the quality of their business plan, financial models, pitch, and pilot proposal. They will attend a virtual bootcamp and compete for the prizes which include: a grand prize winner of US$100,000; regional prizes of $25,000 each; and a smart challenge track regarding urban food which is sponsored by the city of Gainesville, FL. The winners will be announced in November.

“As a company that helps people and businesses protect themselves from risk, QBE understands the role we can play in helping our cities and local governments build resiliency and prepare for the environmental and economic risks that they are faced with,” said Chris Castaldo, Chief Financial Officer at QBE, and Executive Sponsor of the program. “Our partnership with Leading Cities, which is in its fourth year, directly links our values and purpose to enable a more resilient future by supporting innovative solutions for our communities, customers, and employees.”.

The ten finalists include:

  • Zip Charge – their GoHub product is described as “an innovative form of public infrastructure” that combines charging, portable power and energy storage;
  • SDG Assessment – has a web-based and mobile app that helps small businesses and fast-growth companies report sustainability, ESG, and corporate social responsibility performance;
  • RunWithIt Synthetics – uses ‘synthetic modeling’ to help communities make decisions related to a variety of situations, from extreme weather to equity;
  • Plumis – has a fire suppression product, called Automist, which detects fires faster and use less water than traditional sprinkler systems;
  • SAVRpak – doubles the shelf life of produce without chemicals, enabling greater access to healthy foods;
  • EagleRidge Innovation – uses a MicroPop high-pressure solution to break apart the cells of waste created by sewage, reducing the amount of  waste being eliminated at a wastewater treatment facility and creating more nutrients that can be used as fertilizer;
  • Automedi – turns plastic waste into new, on-demand products via 3D printing;
  • Project Plastic – has developed an affordable, portable ‘plastic hunter’ device to remove microplastics from rivers;
  • Smart and Sustainable Built Environment – uses artificial intelligence and simulation models to provide a simple and efficient way to green buildings and surfaces where conventional planting is impossible;
  • Stormseal – is a polyethylene film that heat-shrinks to securely wrap a damaged roof or structure.