Cydni Tetro’s résumé is more than just impressive. The current CEO of ForgeDX.com, a digital experience solution company, has also built and sold 3D printing software platform 3DPlusMe that brands like the NFL and Star Wars have used to create 3D figurines; worked at Disney creating business lines and products for the conglomerate’s theme parks, studios and entertainment sectors; and built and sold a family social networking app with FamilyLink that gained over 70 million users via Facebook in just two years.
She is also one of the co-founders of Salt Lake City-based Women Tech Council, a national organization focused on the economic impact of women in driving high growth for the technology sector that now has more than 10,000 members.
Tetro first gained her love for technology in high school while interning at a software company as a software tester. “My whole senior year I did that,” she says. “I already had an interest in the space, and I had those mentors in high school who told me I could do it. That set my course.”
Tetro says she knew in high school that technology was just at its beginning, which is another reason she was so drawn to it. “I knew having that skill set would open up doors for me in the future, even though I didn’t know what those doors would be,” she says. “The opportunity to work in tech at a very young age was so good for me. I never had any barriers. It was, ‘if you want it, you can go for it.’”
That’s one reason why Tetro has gone for it her whole career—and met a whole lot of success along the way. That success has fueled her appreciation for both the market and the people she’s been able to work with.
“I like to understand the talent of people around me and help them be the best they can be,” she says. “That way, when you walk away from something, people will follow you and still want to work with you, and it’s because you’ve helped them reach their potential. I [also] like to understand the market. One of the biggest things is accessibility of technology. We now have a world of individuals who operate their everyday lives with technology. There’s so much more opportunity for how you can invent better experiences and put integration into every step that you take.”
Because technology is growing and changing at such a fast pace, Tetro is excited about the future of technology in Utah, specifically because the state has become an epicenter of numerous tech companies at various stages.
“We have this really nice distribution of $100 million companies, unicorns and startups,” she says. “And because of that we now have a bigger labor force that can move between them. Because our ecosystem has grown, we have more ability.”
Tetro is also passionate about making sure Utah has a continually inclusive culture within the tech sector—one that appeals to young people.
“When you fundamentally understand tech and how things are built and then have a keen sense of how someone is going to use that you can transform a market,” she says. “That’s why we want so many more young people to get into STEM. There’s so much opportunity there to build, create and innovate. It doesn’t matter what your passion is anymore. Tech is changing it in some way. The opportunities for innovation and disruption are amazing.”