While I was in Austin last week launching our social media app at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive I was excited to break away from the business side of things once everything settled down a bit so my girlfriend Savannah and I could explore all the events happening around the city. Since SXSW is saturated with coolness I put together an itinerary so we could experience as much as possible in the short time we were in town.
A few days prior to SXSWi I was at our Airbnb spot in downtown Austin testing the most recent build of our app and brainstorming with my team. While I was looking out the window collecting my thoughts, (mind you, these windows are 10-feet tall and wrap around the majority of the apartment, hence, the city view was simply stunning) I couldn’t help but notice the building directly across from our high-rise apartment. Although the building was approximately 4x smaller in height than the Whitley building where we were staying, I managed to catch a glimpse of the sign that was displayed on the brick siding, it read uShip. Sound familiar?
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, uShip is a global online auction house for shipping services and is featured on Shipping Wars, a reality TV series on A&E. The show follows independent shippers who bid on shipments through uShip that traditional carriers usually won’t haul. Since I’ve been watching Shipping Wars on and off the past 2 years the sign displayed on the building instantly caught my attention.
I immediately excused myself from the team meeting, sprinted to the elevator, took the super-express elevator to the ground floor, hurdled someone’s luggage in the lobby on the way to the exit, and then ran really, really fast across the street (dodging vehicles and pedicabs) as I made my way to uShip just to introduce myself, explaining that I was a huge fan of the show and that I was ready to take pictures of the place. Okay, I’m kidding. That never happened. It’s a pretty cool story though, right? lol. Alright, moving on…
Although I was going to make time to visit uShip while I was in town, I had more important things to do such as launch our social network. So, the next day when my team and I were gearing up for the Austin Startup Crawl I reviewed the crawl map and noticed that uShip was the very last stop on the list. Bingo! I thought that this was a perfect opportunity to check out yet another reality TV filming location.
We arrived at uShip at 7:30 p.m. that evening and the entrance to the building was packed with people. The place was definitly jumpin’. As soon as we made our way inside we noticed a nice-size uShip sign hanging on the wall and asked a friend to snap a few photos of us standing in front of it.