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Applications open for annual QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge


Start-ups and entrepreneurs whose ventures utilise smart-city solutions to address risk, equity and sustainability in urban environments are invited to compete for up to USD$150,000 in prize funding through QBE’s AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge.

The global Challenge, now in its fifth year, is run by the QBE Foundation in partnership with non-profit organisation Leading Cities to find and support start-ups with innovative technological solutions that address the complex environmental, social and economic challenges faced by cities.

Chris Esson, Chief Financial Officer, QBE Australia Pacific and Co-Chair of the Australia Pacific QBE Foundation, said that as risks to cities evolve and grow increasingly severe, there is a pressing need to build more urban resilience.

“As a global insurance leader, QBE’s purpose to enable a more resilient future highlights how sustainability is integral to us. We strive to help communities and businesses understand and protect themselves from risk.

“The Challenge is just one way the QBE Foundation is supporting and encouraging impactful initiatives in our communities, and we look forward to seeing the innovative solutions that come from this year’s entrants.”

Primary Challenge competitors have the chance to win up to USD$150,000 in funding for a city pilot project, as well as expert mentoring and collaboration opportunities to help scale their initiatives, and support from QBE, including engagement with its venture investment and development arm, QBE Ventures.

Two new breakout tracks are also being launched with prizes of USD$25,000 each, complementing QBE’s focus on commercial property protection and agriculture. The Insurance (Commercial Property) track seeks loss-mitigation innovations which will allow us to identify or minimise potential hazards more quickly, lessen the effects of property damage and decrease business disruption or home evacuation, while the Agriculture track seeks solutions for farmers, such as Agtech, distribution channel solutions, risk management, data tracking and more.

“As a leading commercial property insurer, and farm insurer through our Elders Insurance subsidiary, QBE is constantly searching for new and innovative ways to mitigate commercial risks, to better support and protect our customers,” says Esson.

“These new entry tracks offer us the opportunity to directly engage with new ideas that could help alleviate some of the myriad risks facing our commercial property customers. Addressing these challenges could prevent negative onflow to communities, helping to create thriving, resilient cities and towns.”

Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities, said the Challenge enables entrepreneurs to connect with city leaders to build sustainable, resilient communities ready to face impending environmental challenges.

“Cities are on the front lines of combatting the impacts of climate change, a real threat to humanity. The tools communities have to reduce risks, increase sustainability and ensure resiliency are being developed by talented entrepreneurs globally. The QBE AcceliCITY Challenge connects those solutions with city leaders and prepares them for faster deployment in communities everywhere.”

2022’s Challenge winners include Automedi, the world’s first decentralised circular microeconomy converting plastic waste into community products at the actual point of use, which won the City Solution of the Year Award and its accompanying USD$150,000 prize. Australian company Stormseal received one of two People’s Choice Awards and USD$25,000 in funding for its polyethylene film that heat-shrinks to securely wrap and protect a damaged roof or structure.

Applications close 30 April 2023. To apply or find out more about the Challenge, please visit www.accelicity.com

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