The 10 start-ups confronting climate change head-on

The 10 start-ups confronting climate change head-on

An ‘incorruptible’ digital ballot box that aims to increase community engagement, and an urban cooling system that uses data to tackle heat emergencies on a local level, are among the solutions developed by 10 tech start-ups that have been announced as this year’s QBE AcceliCITY Resilience Challenge finalists.


This year’s challenge tasked innovators to come up with solutions that would deliver on the promises of the COP26 (Conference of the Parties, 26th edition) climate change conference in November.


Driving resilience and equity


The challenge is organised by Leading Cities, a non-profit that connects cities across the globe with innovations and insight to drive resiliency, equity, and sustainability, in partnership with global insurance company QBE North America.


As world leaders prepare to meet at COP26 to create the next set of climate action goals, QBE and Leading Cities want to identify and advance the next generation of innovative solutions to achieve these goals. They believe governments on their own are not equipped to face climate change head on-so so 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.”

“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”

This year’s expert-vetted start-ups from around the world were selected from among more than 500 companies that applied across 44 countries. 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.


The 10 finalists will participate in the AcceliCITY Boot Camp (20-22 September), competing for $150,000 in pilot project funding.



The 10 finalists are:


Eco Panplas: contaminated plastic packaging recycling without using water and without producing waste

FortyGuard: an urban cooling system that utilises city data to mitigate expanding heat emergencies at local levels

Full Cycle Bioplastics: a low-cost, low-carbon alternative to oil-based plastics in the global materials market

Horizon State: a secure, anonymous and ‘incorruptible’ digital ballot box that transforms voting and community engagement

Infiltron: 24/7/365, proactive, real-time, IoT cybersecurity expert

Lup Colombia: harnesses the economic potential of glass waste while delivering social value and environmental benefits

Omniflow: its mission is to have a positive impact in the world, avoiding CO2 emissions and expanding digitalisation

Optimus: upgrades large diesel engines to operate at near-zero carbon emissions using 100 per cent biodiesel enabling low-cost net zero carbon

Pharem: has combined advanced enzyme development, material development and immobilisation methods to create a highly flexible water treatment material

Trainfo: provides artificial intelligence-powered hardware for smart cities to prevent traffic delays and accidents at rail crossings.


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