Rich lister Sir Owen Glenn has gifted a further $2.6 million to Auckland University Business School to support innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the School and across the University, including a new innovation hub.

In 2002 he donated $7 million to the university for the development of the Business School's premises and facilities. In 2015 he donated a further $5 million to promote student innovation and entrepreneurship within the department.

Glenn was estimated to be worth $400 million in the 2016 NBR Rich List and made his fortune in freight and logistics, largely in Europe and the US.

He was born in India but his family moved to New Zealand when he was 12, where he went to Balmoral Intermediate and Mt Roskill Grammar.


In 2010 he told the Herald why he was such a passionate backer of the Auckland Business School.

''I left school at 15 ... my father was very ill so I never had a chance to go to university.
I used to drive down Symonds St on the trolley bus ... and I'd see all the students and I used to really have a heart attack about it. I'd think, 'God I'd love to be increasing my education'. That stuck in my craw.''

It was one of the reasons he later sent himself to Harvard and decided to back the Auckland University Business School.

The innovation hub, opening later this year, follows the makerspace trend sweeping Ivy League universities. It will provide the space, tools, support and environment for students to collaboratively generate ideas and test them. It is designed to foster an entrepreneurial mindset through cross-pollination of ideas, experimentation, and a sense of creative play.

The hub, which will be run by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a university-wide centre based at the business school, has also received funding from PWC, Beca and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.