Entrepreneur Of The Year US National Award winner
Jared Isaacman | Shift4 Payments
At age 16, Jared Isaacman was ready to commit himself fully to work, so he dropped out of high school to take a part-time job while growing his computer repair business. He soon became interested in the continuous evolution of payments, founding what is now Shift4 Payments. And while others reach for the sky, today Isaacman is aspiring to infinity and beyond as a commercial astronaut. His personally funded Inspiration4 venture became the first all-civilian mission to space when it launched in September 2021.
In 1999, Isaacman was among the vanguard of companies enabling e-commerce with new payment solutions, equipping more businesses to accept credit cards. In turn, Shift4 gained insights into consumer spending habits and other useful information — for instance, in how the COVID-19 pandemic affected hospitality and dining, as approximately one-third of hotels and restaurants in the US use the company’s platform. Those sectors were hit particularly hard in 2020, so Isaacman founded the Shift4 Cares Program, providing significant relief to the company’s customers.
While one business would keep most people busy enough, Isaacman recently led a four-person crew on a privately chartered spaceflight. Inspiration4 doubles as a worldwide charity campaign calling attention to the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to which Isaacman is contributing $100 million out of a $200 million donation goal. He’s leaving the world a better place than when he found it — and when he returned to it.