Editor’s note: In the US, the UK and Australia, March is celebrated as Women’s History Month. Here at Google, we’re excited to celebrate women from all backgrounds and are committed to increasing the number of women in the technology industry. Over the next few weeks, we will shine a spotlight on women-led startups and how they use Google Cloud to grow their businesses. This blog highlights Annie Cyr, co-founder and CEO of Tengiva, a Canadian Quebec-based startup utilizing Google Cloud to make textile sourcing smart, simple, and sustainable.
When I worked in textile sourcing, I saw firsthand the difficulties that emerging clothing brands faced in sourcing materials quickly, cost effectively, and sustainably. To solve this problem, in 2018 I co-foundedTengiva, the first digital supply chain manager for the textile industry, enabling real-time sourcing around the world. Our mission is to make a wide variety of materials accessible to every brand across the globe, no matter their size or location.
By making it easy for companies to source textiles without barriers, we’re enabling more brands to participate and compete, which helps the fashion industry flourish with new ideas and innovations. We’ve helped our customers stay productive throughout the pandemic, an unprecedented time during which many brands have had great difficulty sourcing materials.
Tengiva stands for textile exchange network, generating industry, value, and accessibility. Buyers can find available textiles in the quantities they need, and sellers can showcase their materials to develop new business relationships and reach new markets. We’re growing quickly and globally, with more than 300 different materials available in 30 countries worldwide and millions of dollars of inventory on our platform. As long as the textiles are in stock, they can usually be delivered to customers within a week.
We’re disrupting one of the oldest industries in the world—a trillion-dollar fashion industry—with new approaches and digital capabilities aligned with how modern brands work, and we’re doing it hand in hand with Google Cloud. With the help of Google for Startups and Google Cloud, we are taking textile sourcing into the future with new capabilities that include advanced supply chain analytics.
Tengiva + Google Cloud
Like most startups, we wanted to focus on our business, our data platform, and our customers. We didn’t want to take the time to build and maintain servers, or even manage cloud solutions ourselves. We work very hard to make Tengiva a solid and reliable platform, and we want to be hosted by a solid and reliable cloud provider. We’re building our data platform on Google Cloud with help fromSADA, a Google Cloud premier partner. With Google Cloud and SADA, our company isn’t limited and we can scale infinitely.
To get started quickly, we selectedApp Engine, a fully managed, serverless platform that allows our developers to concentrate on writing code. It’s available in all the regions where we do business, and it scales automatically with our app traffic, which makes it easy for us to grow.
For our data platform, we needed to accommodate different textile terms, multiple languages, and precise colors and fabric types. We use a number of Google Cloud solutions for this, includingCloud Storage to store large, high-resolution files of material samples andCloud SQL for our databases.Cloud Build gives us a serverless pipeline for continuous innovation/continuous delivery (CI/CD), making it easy for us to build, test, and deploy new features quickly.
Another way that our work with Google Cloud benefits our company and supports our mission is Google’s commitment to sustainability. Google has an impressive history in going carbon neutral, using renewable energy, and setting carbon-free goals. This commitment to environmental sustainability is very important to us and our clients who are becoming more and more concerned with their impact.
Listening to women’s voices
When we did our first seed round, I went through Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, a three-month virtual program of intensive workshops and expert mentorship designed to help growth-stage startups learn technical, product and leadership best practices. It was inspiring to sit down with other women, share our successes and challenges, and explain what we deal with every day. We had mentors as part of the program, and it really felt like they were part of our company. They were incredibly committed, and we could tell they were truly listening to us. We still keep in touch with our mentors and continue to benefit from the program.
In business, I typically set aside the fact that I’m a woman and focus on being the best CEO I can be. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how difficult it was some years ago being a woman in the textile industry and being a woman entrepreneur in general. Fortunately, this is slowly but surely changing for the better. Women leaders can now show other women and young girls who want to become entrepreneurs what is possible for them. We can redefine culture, mentalities, and business processes in a new way. We have the power to change how companies seize opportunities and grow sustainably.
This month, Tengiva is moving into our new office space, in which we plan to build the first center of excellence and digitalization of textiles. I’m proud to say that the building used to house an old textile mill. We’re quite literally taking the history of textiles and helping create a future that embraces technology making it easier for designers to access the textiles they need to create the next great collections.
Hear Tengiva founder Annie Cyr chat with Google Cloud Customer Engineer Chris Johnson and fellow startups leaders from Graphite about planning after credits run out and how to extend your runway with optimal architecture and best practices in a recent Google for Startups Instagram Live.
If you want to learn more about how Google Cloud can help your startup, visit our pagehere to get more information about our program, and sign up for our communications to get a look at our community activities, digital events, special offers, and more.
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