You would expect programs like VMWare and Virtual PC to actually support booting from a USB stick. If you are just finding out that they don’t like I am and you need some way to get into your USB stick here are some things you can try.
The steps to prepare your USB stick is quite straight forward and you can find them here. I just used the “Create a bootable USB stick” option from – http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download
The next issue was to actually boot into the USB. Now after a bit of digging around I found out that the laptop I was using (X220-Thinkpad) does not detect the USB. I tried it on another machine and that worked fine but I needed to get it working on this one since I carry this around. So I decided to some kind of virtualization using VMPlayer.
Now to enabled booting into USB you actually need to get Plop