Last July, French street artist of a Pakistani immigrant named Ibrahim to the South side of the Graham Building (at 15th and Chestnut Streets) as part of the Mural Arts Program’s Open Source series of site-specific art installations. Site-specific was the key for JR, as the piece, entitled Migrants, Ibrahim, Mingora-Philadelphia, was strategically ‘sandwiched’ between two buildings, making it difficult to notice for a passersby. The message is a reminder that even though immigrants are all over, we don’t always ‘see’ them; a profound and timeless message that deserves not only repetition but amplification.
Meanwhile, as Ibrahim spent the last year reminding the Philadelphia community of its immigrant heritage and the meaning of the ‘American Dream,’ (inside the Graham Building just feet away,) was abuzz with the hustle and bustle of members who were truly living it. Pipeline excels in providing an open and supportive co-working space, which has attracted numerous global and internationally based companies. The community atmosphere fostered here creates opportunities for international and domestic members to cooperate, learn from each other, and succeed in tandem.
“There is an energy here, [there’s] always something going on,” says Fabrice Paget, Founder of London-based , who was attracted to Pipeline’s stylish interior, as well as its proximity to City Hall and other iconic Philadelphia landmarks. “You need to feel great at work,” Fabrice continues. “It is important to creativity.”
Another international member, German-based , which provides engineering software to more than 25,000 professionals in 71 countries, set up their American office at Pipeline Philly 2015 for more practical reasons. “With only 1-2 employees in the US office, there was no need to rent a large office, and the thought of working from home was unappealing as it would be very isolated,” says Dlubal’s Amy Heilig. Having already opened offices in six different countries, Dlubal found that Pipeline offered the space they needed for their small staff while maintaining the productivity and energy of a larger firm. “With the need for a small office and the desire to be near other driven and like-minded entrepreneurs, Pipeline was the perfect fit.”
Our members do not only benefit from the office space they rent here or its location; we pride ourselves on our entrepreneur spirit. Pipeline members are part of an active community of professionals all chasing their own ‘American Dream’ in an environment that recognizes and supports them. “It can be discouraging and slow when entering into a new market,” says Heilig, “However, throughout the last year, I have learned that patience and perseverance are the factors that determine if you will succeed or not.”
“If you can’t take risks, you can’t move forward,” asserts Paget. “It’s that ‘fail forward’ mentality that makes America great. You’re allowed to take risks here.”
These are the minds, and indeed the mind-set, that makes the Pipeline Philly community — and America — great. Our members set trends, change games, and break barriers. They are passionate, driven, and persistent. Most importantly, however, they inspire each other.
JR saw the same genuine, albeit under-served, sources of inspiration in immigrants like Ibrahim, who actually lives and works in Philadelphia. Over a year later, on the wake of America’s Independence Day, we continue to celebrate the accomplishments of immigrants and their contributions (seen or unseen) to making our communities great.