I feel a bit like a broken record saying this again, but last night, Elon Musk changed the course of history forever.

Musk’s space tech startup, SpaceX, successfully launched four civilians into lower Earth orbit – the first all-civilian crew ever to make the trip.

Billionaire Jared Isaacman purchased the flight to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He’s joined by a major donor to the organization, a commercial astronaut and geology professor, and a former cancer patient who’s now a PA at St. Jude.

The goal is to raise $200 million for the hospital – and not just by soliciting donations. SpaceX’s “crew capsule,” Dragon, is loaded up with plush toys, artist NFTs, and 66 pounds of hops from Sam Adams (space beer, anyone?). The loot will be auctioned off post-flight.

In short, the three-day Inspiration4 mission is like nothing the world’s ever seen before. Not only will the crew travel much farther than Bezos or Branson did this summer… there’s also just something undeniably more fun about this story.

Leave it to Elon to outdo the rest of the space billionaires.

It’s been nearly two decades since SpaceX’s founding – and given its global reach today, it’s easy to forget that the startup’s earliest days were met with mockery.

Critics called Musk a “thrillionaire” and chalked the venture up to a rich man’s hobby (think the billionaire’s version of collecting Jags or Maseratis).

To put it mildly, those people don’t look particularly smart right now. (SpaceX is worth more than $74 billion today.)

It all circles back to my #1 philosophy as an angel investor: back the jockey, not the horse.

When Elon founded SpaceX in 2002, he had already co-founded and sold two wildly successful companies (one for $307 million; the other – PayPal – for $1.5 billion).

Any investor who looked at that track record back in 2002 should have seen what I see: a visionary who turns everything he touches into gold.

It didn’t even matter that he had no background in space tech, or that he was just 30 years old at the time. He had co-founded a unicorn. Choosing not to back his next venture was a serious lapse in judgement.

That’s why, more than once, I’ve written a big check for a founder just because I trusted them to produce great results. I have literally invested without even hearing the idea for the business. If the idea turns out to be amazing, well, that’s a bonus.

Exceptional founders are rare. Exceptional teams are even rarer.

Like the founding team of one startup that recently met with Daymond John in the Private Dealroom.

This group of entrepreneurs, advisors, and partners is one of the most compelling I’ve ever seen. It includes:

  • A seasoned startup founder with a seven-figure exit in his history…
  • A former exec at Sony, Dolby, and Disney+…
  • The inventor of the original DVD board game…
  • A 25-year veteran of Hasbro’s Monopoly franchise…
  • A primetime TV celebrity you can see on air seven days a week…
  • And multiple other heavy hitters.

This team has it all: industry experts, tech geniuses, household-name celebs, you name it.

And their tiny $40 million company could fetch a $6 billion price tag five years from now.

Cash is pouring into their raise as we speak – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one close its doors any minute. Once that happens, there may not be another chance to get on board.

Click here to meet the team and get all the details.

I’ll be back soon.

Until then,

Neil Patel