Top GovTech Accelerator Expands to Serve the World

Top GovTech Accelerator Expands to Serve the World

QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge Opens Applications April 1-30th

Leading Cities is pleased to announce the launch of the 2022 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge in partnership with QBE North America for the fourth consecutive year. The global competition, ranked among the top 5 GovTech accelerators in the world, accelerates the growth of start-up companies transforming cities worldwide.

“As a company that helps people and businesses protect themselves from risk, we recognize the critical need to help form urban resilience in our communities,” said Todd Jones, CEO of QBE North America and President of the QBE Foundation.

“We look forward to partnering with those on the cutting edge of developing solutions that will make a difference for our world by addressing emerging risks and providing advantageous results for cities here and around the world.”  

This year, QBE and Leading Cities are expanding this globally recognized program to better reach entrepreneurs and smart city start-ups in the Asia/Pacific region by offering their unique business-to-government curricula in AcceliCITY East and AcceliCITY West. This development signals the growth and success of the QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge and the demand for such a unique curriculum around the world.

“Prior to the pandemic, most cities thought of smart city solutions or even innovation itself as a ‘nice to have,’ however, one positive outcome of this global health crisis is that it helped cities to see that such innovative solutions are actually a must have,” said Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “Local communities must accept the challenge facing them— either become more resilient, more sustainable, and more equitable or pay a devastating price for the status quo.”

As communities emerge from the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, they are embracing the need for resilience, sustainability, and digital transformation. The city of Gainesville, Florida, is Leading Cities’ sponsor of this year’s AcceliCITY Smart Challenge. City leaders focused the challenge on addressing urban food issues. From urban agriculture and food packaging to consumption and waste, this challenge will provide the winning start-up with a paid pilot project to address the needs of the Gainesville community.

"We value opportunities like the Smart City Challenge that will help the City of Gainesville reach its goals to deliver a sustainable food system to our neighbors," said Sheyla DeSantana, City of Gainesville smart city coordinator. "Leading Cities' assistance in identifying candidates ready to implement pilot projects will be invaluable to meet the needs of our challenge area," she said.

The QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge offers two $25,000 People’s Choice Awards, the paid pilot project in Gainesville, and a Grand Prize of $100,000 in funding for the winning venture to implement a pilot project. Previous organizations to win the challenge include Pharem Biotech, which removes pharmaceuticals and other organic micropollutants that pass through wastewater treatment facilities; Bioo, who leveraged innovative technology solutions to address climate change; and DrugViu, which aimed to solve for greater health equity for minorities.

Competition details

  • Submissions will close on April 30th, 2022
  • Semi-finalists will take part in a three-month virtual accelerator program
  • Finalists will participate in a B2G boot camp and pitch competition
  • One winner will receive $100,000 and a pilot project in a city while two additional prizes of $25,000 each will also be awarded, and another winner will receive a paid pilot urban food project in the city of Gainesville, Florida.
  • Additionally, all semi-finalists and finalists will receive additional resources and access to valuable connections to help scale their initiatives globally, including membership to Leading Cities’ first in the world virtual co-working space, LaunchPad 11, that is clusters start-ups, corporations, industry experts, investors and city leaders from around the world daily in one virtual community.

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

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