BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2020 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge, hosted by Leading Cities in partnership with QBE North America, concluded today with the City Solution of the Year awarded to the green electricity startup Bioo.
Driven by their dedication to resiliency in communities, QBE North America and Leading Cities joined forces to identify and propel some of the world's most promising startups addressing a multitude of challenges facing cities everywhere. The 2020 QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge included a four-day intensive boot camp and panel evaluation from representatives of the World Economic Forum, United Nations, Wilson Towers Watson, PVBLIC Foundation and QBE North America.
The startup selected as champion, Bioo, has developed a unique way of generating electricity from plants that doesn't damage them and is 100% renewable. The technology has the potential to be utilized in a multitude of functions and across industries. In agriculture, they are developing the first 100% sustainable sensor powered by the land, and eliminating the pollution created by chemical batteries, as well as the cost of replacement. Also underway is the Bioo Panel, a vegetal panel that generates and supplies energy from nature to light up parks and gardens. In the future, Bioo seeks to use its technology as an energy source comparable to solar, hydropower or wind energy.
"At the heart of our QBE culture is taking care of people and fostering more resilient and sustainable communities. This charitable sponsorship is no different and we're pleased to partner with Leading Cities to bring it to life," said QBE North America CEO Todd Jones. "Congratulations Bioo! We look forward to seeing how you advance this innovative technology to benefit both cities and local communities."
Bioo was one of eleven finalists representing the world's foremost urban technology startups from among hundreds that applied from 37 countries. The finalists presented their pitches to a six-person panel made up of Kari Eik, the Leader of the UN's United for Smart and Sustainable Cities U4SSC Implementation Program; Jeff Merritt of the World Economic Forum; Sergio Fernandez de Cordova representing both the PVBLIC Foundation and P3 SmartCity; Paula Pagniez of Willis Towers Watson; Truett Tate, Chairman of the QBE North America Board; and Isaac Lax, Head of the QBE Digital Innovation Lab.
After a 5-month vetting process, a 2-month curriculum and a virtual Boot Camp, QBE and Leading Cities announced the City Solution of the Year in a one-hour production featuring the stories and highlights of the 2020 QBE AcceliCITY finalists. The champion startup receives a $100,000 prize and will be the feature of the upcoming AcceliGOV program, where cities from around the world compete to win a pre-paid pilot program of this globally sourced, expert-vetted, award winning solution.
Wrapping up its third year, AcceliCITY has quickly become one of the largest programs of its kind in the world and has demonstrated tremendous impact. AcceliCITY alumni have already raised in excess of $130 million, with the program's first champion securing a successful sale of the business and cities gaining access to innovative solutions from around the world.
"The success of this program is generated from the creativity and passion of entrepreneurs around the world who are focusing their talents on tackling some of the greatest challenges and threats to humanity," said Michael Lake, President and CEO of Leading Cities. "From energy production and ending human trafficking to clean air and drone infrastructure, these solutions are extending the boundaries of our imagination and redefining the quality of life in urban centers."
At its core, QBE AcceliCITY lowers the cost of innovation for startups as well as cities and corporations by streamlining the innovation and implementation cycles for smart and resilient city solutions. The QBE AcceliCITY program connects startup's smart solutions directly with business users and provides the proper channels and know-how to deploy in cities.
About the Finalists
Bioo (Spain): Electricity from nature. Developing a unique way of generating electricity from plants' photosynthesis, without damaging them.
Dynamhex (USA): Dynamhex is software that helps cities and companies target climate action with measurable results.
Breeze Technologies (Germany): Breeze Technologies is a technology leader for air quality sensors, data and analytics.
Carbon Upcycling (Canada): Carbon Upcycling Technologies was formed to use the pollution of today to build the materials of tomorrow by converting CO2 gas into solid products.
Circuit (USA): A free, all-electric transportation system working to reduce carbon emissions and urban traffic.
Collective Liberty (USA): Collective Liberty gets actionable intelligence to law enforcement, equipping them with curated data to arrest & convict human traffickers.
EVA (Portugal): EVA develops drone infrastructure for urban areas to make the future of drone applications in our cities more operational, secure and scalable.
Lazarillo (Chile): An intelligent platform that helps public and private institutions make their digital and physical services more accessible for citizens with disabilities.
Oxygeni (Poland): An air filtration system used with street lighting infrastructure to improve urban air quality.
WeavAir (Canada): Proactive solution that prevents the spread of contamination and infection, ensuring comprehensive regulation compliance, while reducing operation costs.
ZaaK (Germany): Stopping the depletion of natural sand by upcycling industrial waste by-products into Smart Sand while improving the energy efficiency of buildings.
About Leading Cities
Leading Cities connects cities across the globe with innovations and insight to drive resiliency, equity, and sustainability. This is achieved by cultivating a global network of forward thinkers from the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors as well as delivering advanced research, emerging trends and vetting solutions that will address urban challenges. The AcceliCITY program aims to de-risk innovation for cities by sourcing and vetting solutions that will answer their most pressing challenges. Additional information can be found at LeadingCities.org or by following Leading Cities on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
QBE North America is global insurance leader focused on helping customers solve unique risks, so they can focus on what matters the most. Part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, QBE North America reported Gross Written Premiums in 2019 of $4.6 billion. QBE Insurance Group's 2019 results can be found at www.qbe.com. 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 www.qbe.com/us, or follow QBE North America on Twitter.