HTK Start Up 
To Champion, Grow, and Rise

A village of support for your entrepreneurial journey.

HTK Start Up accelrates and supports founders across their start up life cycle. We offer a range of support services, capability-building programmes, and startup programmes to help accelerate start ups in their journey.

We are committed to building a strong start up ecosystem that has the capacity and understanding to support all founders and start ups including the underserved community, Māori, Pasifika and disabilities. Our network of advisors, operators and investors have shared values and a commitment to operating inline with the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.                                                                                                                          

Our Programmes:

Whakatipu Incubator

Support your business journey by gaining a network of expert start up navigators, advisors and investors to support your journey from idea stage to growth.

Whakatipu is a 6 month incubator with intakes in Feb, May, Aug and Nov every year, for Maori founders and start ups in Aotearoa.

Whakatū Accelerator

Set yourself up for your journey with 12 weeks of accelerated learning, support, and investment from our network of navigators, advisors and investors.



Hear from one of our clients

Opinio Native

Our Values

HTK Group stands for the following values and principles:

– We value kinship and build long term inter-generational relationships and partnerships
Kii tahi 
– We do what we say and more
– We value Trust as our major currency
We respect and serve the needs of our people by providing quality care, support, and service
Auaha tonu
– We value evolution, never-ending improvement, and the need to innovate
 - We have mana, integrity, respect and are professional in all that we do
Our values and principles are underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Our Team of Start Up Advisors

Jacob Varghese

Connect with our head of start ups —

Ngāti Kerala (Kerala Tribe South India)

Jacob has worked in the NZ start-up and innovation space supporting start-up teams in their commercialisation journey since 2018. He has worked with large corporate and public sector clients like Orion Group, Ministry for Primary Industries, Christchurch City Council, Ara Ake, and Ryman Healthcare in their innovation strategy. Jacob has delivered multiple accelerators in energy, health, and agri. He is passionate about supporting impactful innovation in climate change, energy, and the health sector. Jacob is Indigenous Kerala from the coast of South India. Jacob previously worked as Head of Innovation at the Ministry of Awesome, and as a consultant for Te Kahui o Nga Rauru Iwi in Wanganui.

Our Team

HTK is a values-led organisation delivering services for our people, by our people, and to our people.  HTK Start Up is a divison of HTK Group.  

Our team is highly innovative and creative thought-pioneers, that can also adapt our processes to suit the conservative mainstream, through to different cultural contexts and paradigms. HTK Start Up is agile and adaptive to your changing needs and business environment.  We are solution focused and guided by our values. We’ll roll up our sleeves, get in there, do the mahi to help you achieve  your targets, and deliver services to the highest standard.

Pete Burgess

Ngāti Kotimana

Pete brings extensive successful experience in sales/distribution, production, and manufacturing across New Zealand, Australia & South East Asia. He has a proven track record in general management, organisational/operational turnaround, business development, and supply chain optimisation. Peter’s international experience has refined his skills in bringing out the best for businesses, through motivating, coaching, and mentoring individuals into high- performing teams. After 30 years starting from SME’s through to global leading brands, he has been versatile and innovative in providing and creating solutions to business problems, particularly in business reorganisation/restructuring and product development. Peter lives in Auckland with his wife Vesna Botica (Ngapuhi, Te Ati Hau Nui a Paparangi). Together they have two amazing daughters, Hana and Holly.

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If you would like to work with us, click on the button below to get started today

HTK Start Up Partners