When co-working space firm Pipeline Workspaces was looking to expand to a seventh location, Tampa made perfect sense.
The South Florida-based company already had a strong presence in the Sunshine State, with locations in Miami, Doral, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando.
Beyond that, co-founder Philippe Houdard says two attractive characteristics in the Tampa market led Pipeline to establish a Pipeline Tampa Entry Areapresence here in September, opening a 15,000-square-foot downtown location on the 15th floor of Park Tower, overlooking the Hillsborough River.
“Tampa is one of the fastest-growth cities in the United States and it’s very diverse in its economy,” Houdard says. “That’s reflected in our membership, which includes attorneys, a P.R. firm, insurance agents, a nonprofit, construction general contractors, a broad spectrum. It was extremely important to have membership from different sectors. We really feel that innovation comes from bringing people together from different sectors. You develop new ideas and become innovative when you step out of your lane. When you are focused on your specific sector, you can get better and more productive. But to really start to innovate and separate yourself from the competition, it helps when you start talking to people who have a slightly different focus in life and in business. So, for us having a diversity of companies in the space is very important and Tampa affords that type of possibility because of its diverse industry.”
The “collective knowledge” and experience from a wide range of industries is one key advantage Pipeline offers its members, Houdard says. That diversity of businesses has helped members find legal counsel, a software developer, a public relations firm, and other needed services without leaving the floor of the office building.
“You can engage and connect with 100 to 200 different companies working out of that space,” Houdard says. “That has an immense value to anybody trying to grow their business.”
It also helps with making connections. If you need an introduction to someone in the local business community, another Pipeline member may already have a connection or be one degree of separation away.
To create a dynamic and energetic office environment, Houdard says Pipeline locations also host speakers series that cover topics such as innovation and leadership, climate change, the growth of cities, and creativity.
Pipeline started in 2012 with a location in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. The idea came after Houdard and a business partner were looking for new office space for a prior company and struggled to find a place “where you can engage with people you want to be around.”
In addition to the six Florida locations, Pipeline also has a Philadelphia site. Members may use the office space at any location, a benefit for professionals traveling on business or looking to expand.