Hassin, who has a track record of successful startups, moved to Chapel Hill so that his wife could pursue her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We are evaluating all of our options now, but always with an eye toward which path will lead us to the greatest impact.” Regardless of the road Hassin takes, he recognizes that Chapel Hill has helped provide him with the resources, network and encouragement needed to make Smart OES successful.
The flexible office space arrangements offered at Carolina Coworking, a new addition to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street, have given his team a place to temporarily settle in and work alongside other ventures.
While Hassin recognizes both Raleigh and Durham have more developed startup ecosystems, he says Chapel Hill offers something unique.
Hassin is happy to house his big ambitions in a relatively small town, especially since Chapel Hill itself is serious about environmental innovation, which indirectly encourages his efforts.
Formalizing Smart OES’s and Chapel Hill’s synergistic ties, Hassin is now working with John Richardson, the town’s community sustainability and resilience officer, to improve the energy efficiency of town-run buildings.
“Many municipalities talk a big game about going green, but Chapel Hill is really walking the walk. Not only does that benefit me as a resident and taxpayer, but it also energizes us as a company. It can be lonely starting up a new venture, but we really feel like the town is on our side,” Hassin said.