Start-up Wānanga 2021

What is ‘Start-up Wānanga’?

Start-up Wānanga is a three-day event where individuals, and teams are guided through the business startup process. It’s intensive with late nights, long days and lots of support.  

You will spend the event with other like-minded whānau and will be supported by Te Ahikōmako staff and local experts and mentors to bring your idea to life. 

While our aim is for whānau to turn ideas into businesses over the course of the event, the ultimate objective is to learn about the PROCESS of converting ideas into viable products or services and we encourage everyone to collaborate with other teams and support each other. 

If you are more advanced in your entrepreneurial journey and are seeking business support for growth or investor funding, this wananga may not be right for you. However, Ahikōmako has other services or programmes that could be better suited to those with more advanced business needs.

Important Event Info

DATE : Thurs 25 to Sat 27 November 2021

TIMES : Thurs 5pm-9pm | Fri 9am-9pm | Sat 9am-8pm

LOCATION : Te Ahikōmako @ Te Wānanga o Aotearoa – 254 Ohaupo Road, Glenview, Hamilton

TICKETS : $50 per person (incl GST) for the full event – this covers kai along with all the expertise and resources available to you during the event.


What is involved?

Throughout the wānanga you’ll be: 

  • introduced to various tools by way of express lectures before getting the opportunity to use the tools on their own business 
  • supported by various mentors and guides throughout the event 
  • at the end of the event, each business will have a minimum viable product (an early mock-up of your product or service) and the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges and a live audience 

Start-up Wānanga is not for the faint-hearted!
It’s an intensive 50 hours where you’ll get out what you put in. It is not unusual for people to work late into the night. However, our event staff will step in should we observe participants over-exerting themselves.

Prize Packages up for grabs!

At the conclusion of the event, each team will present their business idea to a panel of judges and be eligable for a selection of sweet spot prizes. 

Application Criteria

You may apply as an individual or a team, there is no cap on team numbers but our total capacity is limited to 25 people . To apply as one of our entrepreneurs in the making you will need to: 

  • have an existing idea that you’d like to develop – see application details 
  • be able to commit to the course dates – see key dates 
  • be over 16 

Going solo?
If you don’t have an idea but are passionate about entrepreneurship and have a set of skills to offer (i.e legal, financial, marketing, web development, engineering etc), then we welcome you to apply to be a part of the Start-up Wānanga as well.

Application Requirements

As part of your Start-up Wānanga application, we would love to hear your innovative ideas. On application you will be asked to provide a short written statement providing details of your existing business or start-up idea. You may include the following:  

  • An introduction – You (and Your Team if applicable) – build credibility, intrigue 
  • The Problem – illustrate the problem for the user 
  • A Unique Solution – paint a picture, tell us how you will solve the problem 
  • Market Opportunity – How big is your idea? 

If you require assistance with your statement or would prefer to create a video, please email


We currently live in a world where COVID-19 tends to high jack plans. In case of any unforeseen lock-down situations, Start-up Wānanga will be delivered virtually. In the event this happens, we will notify participants regarding any changes to the delivery of Start-up Wānanga as soon as possible. In preparation that Start-up Wānanga is delivered online participants will need to have access to a device and internet connection.