The uShip Story

In many ways, was born in the back of a rented moving van. As Matt Chasen and his then-fiance, Heather, were moving from Seattle to Austin, the 9-foot van he ordered was sold out, leaving him with an enormous 20-foot truck — twice the size they needed.

Matt Chasen, CEO and Founder, (photo: Brent Humphreys for CNN Money)

From Frustration to Inspiration

As Matt drove his virtually empty truck 2,500 miles to Texas, it started to dawn on him that his rental van frustration may actually inspire a new business idea. Over the previous year, Matt’s mother had been trying to ship an heirloom armoire from Ohio to Texas, but outrageous shipping quotes had prevented her from doing so. So he wondered if there may be someone in Ohio with similar empty truck space to transport his mother’s dresser to Texas. The question was how to connect these parties and consummate a transaction?

McCombs School of Business

Matt continued to tinker with the idea over the coming year, and when he arrived at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, he eventually joined with fellow business school students Jay Manickam and Mickey Millsap. The three further developed the business plan to create a transport marketplace where customers could connect with empty truck space to make shipping more affordable, efficient and even eco-friendly. Originally designed to serve only the Lone Star State, the team quickly learned the stress and expense of moving big items was a universal problem. Yes, even bigger than Texas. uShip was incorporated in 2003 and launched its online marketplace in 2004.