Our Founders

Betting early on exceptional people making the world better

In 2019, Schmidt Futures co-founders Eric and Wendy Schmidt made a USD 1 billion philanthropic commitment to identify and support global talent.

Rise—an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust—is the anchor program of that commitment. Rise builds on an existing partnership between Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, including the creation of the Schmidt Science Fellows program.

Each organization has realized the power of building a network of exceptional talent, and this partnership will allow them both for the first time to focus on reaching a younger audience between the ages of 15 and 17.
Schmidt Futures bets early on exceptional people making the world better. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talent together into networks, bets on the most promising ideas through competition, and equips people to scale through partners and thoughtful application of modern tools.
The Rhodes Trust, based at the University of Oxford, brings together and develops exceptional people from all over the world, and in all fields of study, who are impatient with the way things are and have the courage to act. The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards providing transformative educational opportunities. 

Established in 1903, they are the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. Nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, education, the arts, NGOs, commerce, research and other sectors. They are well known advocates for expanded social justice, and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine. As well as Rise, the Rhodes Trust has three other partnership programs: The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, Atlantic Institute, and Schmidt Science Fellows.