Start-up Innovations Deliver on the Promises of COP26
Leading Cities, a global nonprofit driving city resiliency and sustainability, in partnership with QBE North America revealed ten of the world’s foremost urban technology startups in its QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge finalist line-up. Now in its fourth edition, the program has become one of the largest of its kind in the world and has demonstrated tremendous success with its unique approach to bridging the gap between startups and cities. AcceliCITY alumni have already raised in excess of $245 million, and many have since deployed their solutions in cities to improve the efficiency and quality of life of our urban centers.
World leaders prepare to meet this November for COP26 (Conference of the Parties, 26th edition) to create the next set of climate action goals since the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on climate change. As they do so, QBE and Leading Cities are identifying and advancing the next generation of innovative solutions to achieve these goals. Governments on their own are not equipped to face climate change head on, thus QBE and Leading Cities have made it their mission to supply municipal leaders at the forefront of these imminent threats, with the foresight and innovation of the entrepreneurial world.
“As the fast-approaching deadline to combat climate change draws near, humanity is dependent on the ability of city leaders to deliver on the promises and vision that will be established at COP26,” said Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. “This requires a dramatically different approach to innovation—one that is open and unafraid to implement new solutions that offer a chance to save our planet and build more inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.”
“Providing solutions for emerging risks is an important part in bringing to life our purpose—to help people achieve their ambitions,” said Chris Castaldo, Chief Financial Officer at QBE, who serves as Executive Sponsor of the program. “We are proud to support our customers and communities by encouraging innovation that fosters a more resilient and sustainable world.”
This year, these globally sourced, expert-vetted startups were selected from among the more than 500 companies that applied from 44 countries. The entrepreneurs leading these ventures are committed to tackling common urban problems ranging from air quality, digital infrastructure and communications technology, to public transportation, renewable energy, and more. Fifty semi-finalists were previously selected and participated in a business-to-government and capital acquisition focused, web-based curriculum. Each of these teams received one-on-one mentorship from global experts. Now, the ten finalists will participate in the AcceliCITY Boot Camp (September 20th to the 22nd) and compete for $150,000 in pilot project funding.
AcceliCITY lowers the cost of innovation for startups as well as governments by streamlining the innovation and implementation cycles for Smart City solutions. Leading Cities’ AcceliCITY program connects startup’s smart solutions directly with business users and provides the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities. Effective and timely deployment of new solutions will pave the path toward meeting the critical goals emerging from COP26.
About the Finalists
Eco Panplas: Contaminated plastic packaging recycling without using water and without producing waste.
FortyGuard: FortyGuard is an urban cooling system that utilizes city data to mitigate expanding heat emergencies at local levels.
Full Cycle Bioplastics: Full Cycle’s PHA is the lowest cost, lowest carbon alternative to oil-based plastics in the global materials market.
Horizon State: Horizon State is a secure, anonymous and incorruptible digital ballot box that transforms voting and community engagement.
Infiltron: Infiltron is your 24/7/365, proactive, real time, IoT cybersecurity expert integrated.
Lup Colombia: Harnessing the economic potential of glass waste while delivering social value and environmental benefits.
Omniflow: Omniflow's mission is to have a positive impact in the world, avoiding CO2 emissions and expanding digitalization.
Optimus: Optimus upgrades large diesel engines to operate at near-zero carbon emissions using 100% biodiesel enabling low-cost net zero carbon today.
Pharem: Pharem have successfully combined advanced enzyme development, material development and immobilization methods to create a highly flexible water treatment material.
Trainfo: TRAINFO provides AI-powered hardware for smart cities to prevent traffic delays and accidents at rail crossings.