ALLENTOWN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, today announced the independent panel of judges tasked with helping select a deserving entrepreneur to join the historic mission’s four-person crew later this year. The mission will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments and an accomplished pilot and adventurer and is built on four mission pillars of Leadership, Hope, Generosity and Prosperity. The chosen entrepreneur will represent the mission pillar of prosperity.
The judges panel will review the top entries of the Shift4Shop social media contest, open through the end of February, to identify a business owner or entrepreneur that exhibits ingenuity, innovation, and determination to join the crew of Inspiration4.
“As an entrepreneur who started Shift4 decades ago, I know how much risk, talent and effort it takes to launch a business and drive its success,” said Isaacman. “One of the things that has helped me in my career is making sure I am working with the best people possible, which is why I want to make sure we work with the right judges to select the best fit possible for the Prosperity seat. The caliber and resumes of the four judges helping us select this seat have transformed industries and driven innovation on a number of fronts, and I could not think of a better team to help us find the best person to help us make history.”
Isaacman continued: “Shift4Shop’s unprecedented competition offers the greatest chance to earn a seat aboard Inspiration4. We are incredibly excited to combine a unique outlet for the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us with the best opportunity for a lucky innovator to travel with us to the stars.”
Shift4Shop is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that eschews the tiered billing model used by other platforms, instead providing an enterprise-level solution completely free of charge when customers use the company’s payment processing services. This model is unique to the industry and delivers customers significant savings over competing eCommerce platforms that charge monthly hosting fees and various add-on costs. In fact, competitors offering similar functionality often charge $300 or more per month for the same capabilities that Shift4Shop provides for free. Shift4Shop offers dozens of professionally designed, industry-specific website templates that are mobile-friendly, search engine optimized and highly customizable to meet the unique needs of every business. The turnkey offering also includes hundreds of valuable features such as product and order management, customer marketing tools, and more. For businesses that already have a website on another platform, Shift4Shop makes it easy to switch with free migration assistance including custom web design.
Any current or new Shift4Shop customer is eligible for this one-of-a-kind opportunity to enter an online competition showcasing them and their business. To enter, businesses simply need to launch an online store with Shift4Shop, then post a short video on Twitter about their entrepreneurial story including a link to their Shift4Shop website and the hashtag #Inspiration4contest. After the contest closes, one Shift4Shop customer will be selected by the judging panel to represent the mission pillar of Prosperity aboard Inspiration4 when it launches in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The judging panel includes four well-known voices in the world of business and entrepreneurship who have exemplified ingenuity, innovation, and determination in their careers:
Marc Benioff is Chair, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. Under Benioff's leadership, Salesforce is the #1 provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software globally. Benioff founded Salesforce in 1999, and it is now a Fortune 500 company with more than 54,000 employees, guided by four core values — trust, customer success, innovation and equality. The company has been recognized as the Most Innovative Company by Forbes, a Best Place to Work by Fortune, and the 10th Most Admired Company in the World by Fortune. Benioff was named “Innovator of the Decade” by Forbes and is recognized as one of the World’s 25 Greatest Leaders by Fortune, one of the 10 Best-Performing CEOs by Harvard Business Review and as the CNN Business CEO of 2020. For his leadership on equality, Benioff has been honored by GLAAD, the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative and Variety Magazine with its EmPOWerment Award.
Building a different kind of company, Benioff created Salesforce to not only develop great products, but also to have a positive impact on the world. On day 1, Benioff created the 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities around the world. Today, more than 10,000 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model through the Pledge 1% movement.
Stephanie Mehta is the Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company, overseeing its print, digital and live journalism since 2018. She was previously a deputy editor at Vanity Fair, where she edited feature stories and coedited the annual New Establishment ranking. She also curated the invitation-only New Establishment Summit and Founders Fair conference for women entrepreneurs, which she launched in 2017.
Prior to that, Mehta was an editor at Bloomberg Media and worked at Fortune for 14 years, rising from senior writer to deputy managing editor. She was also a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and began her career as a business reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.
Mark Rober is an American YouTuber, engineer and inventor. He has the largest Science and educational YouTube channel with 16.7M subscribers while averaging 25M views per video. Before YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA for nine years where he spent seven of those years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Rober later worked for four years at Apple Inc. as a product designer in their Special Projects Group, where he authored patents involving virtual reality in self-driving cars. In October 2019, Rober and fellow YouTuber MrBeast launched the #teamtrees environmental fundraiser where they planted over 20 million trees.
For nearly four decades, Jon Taffer has been at the forefront of the business management industry offering his expertise to thousands of hospitality and restaurant properties, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He helped create what industry experts call “the greatest nightclub in the world,” and the NFL “Sunday Ticket.”
As the creator, executive producer and star of Paramount Network’s number-one show, Bar Rescue, Jon is best known to people as the larger-than-life television personality who takes a no-holds barred approach to helping hotels, restaurants, bars and businesses reach their full potential. He is also a New York Times best-selling author, highly sought-after hospitality and general business consultant and creator, and creator of Taffer’s Tavern, a national franchise that launched in 2020.
To learn more about Inspiration4, how to support and potentially join this historic journey to space and the specific conditions of the promotions, visit www.Inspiration4.com and follow the mission on social media on Twitter (@inspiration4x), Facebook (@inspiration4mission), Instagram (@inspiration4) and YouTube (@Inspiration4) to receive the latest news on mission training and preparation. Individuals who are interested in learning more about the contest should visit inspiration4.com and review the official rules and requirements.
Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Shift4 Payments (NYSE:FOUR). The mission is named in recognition of the four-person crew’s mission to inspire support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and send a humanitarian message of possibility while representing a new era for human spaceflight and exploration. The crew will undergo commercial astronaut training by SpaceX before embarking on a targeted launch on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021. Isaacman has donated the three mission seats alongside him to crew members who will represent the mission pillars of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity. To learn more about Inspiration4, including how to support and potentially join this historic journey to space, visit www.Inspiration4.com and follow Twitter (@inspiration4x), Facebook (@inspiration4mission), Instagram (@inspiration4) and YouTube (@Inspiration4).
About Shift4 Payments
Shift4 Payments (NYSE: FOUR) is a leading provider of integrated payment processing and technology solutions, delivering a complete omnichannel ecosystem that extends beyond payments to include a wide range of commerce-enabling services. The company’s technologies help power over 350 software providers in numerous industries, including hospitality, retail, F&B, eCommerce, lodging, gaming, and many more. The newly launched Shift4Shop platform offers a turnkey eCommerce experience including a robust website builder, product and order management, customer marketing tools and more. With over 7,000 sales partners, the company securely processed more than $200 billion in payments volume for over 200,000 businesses in 2019. For more information, visit shift4.com.