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Chasen: Coolest thing uShip’d? Giant flame machine

The founder and CEO of Austin-based uShip Inc. had no problem keeping the Face 2 Face crowd entertained at The Long Center this morning as he spoke about the company and one of its most popular ventures, reality television show “Shipping Wars.”

Though uShip plays the starring role, it has “absolutely no editorial control over the show,” Matt Chasen said. MegaloMedia Inc. producers in Austin run the show, he said.

Although he now operates a popular and successful shipping business, Chasen said he hadn’t always planned on being an entrepreneur until he got inspiration from his mom. He vouched that getting started isn’t the easiest task, and recalled being rejected by about 50 venture capital firms as he tried to raise funds for uShip. He ultimately collected about $10 million.

Chasen provided plenty of business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Quickly prove your value proposition and build minimum viable product ASAP,” he said. He spoke highly and at length about the so-called MVP process for product and service launches.

The shipping business doesn’t seem to be slowing down and neither do the variety of items being shipped. A giant flame machine standing several stories tall for use at outdoor events has probably been the coolest item shipped yet, Chasen said.

Go behind the scenes of “Shipping Wars,” which airs Tuesdays on A&E, with this August Q&A between Austin Business Journal reporter Vicky Garza and Chasen.

And don’t forget to register for the next Face 2 Face breakfast on Oct. 15 featuring Bert Jacobs, co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist of Life is Good.