With concurrent stints as a corporate lawyer, C-suite executive, entrepreneur, and investor, Margot Carter’s perspective is unique. She’s passionate about getting more women on boards and investing in the local ecosystem with both her time (currently as a Capital Factory mentor) and through her firm, Living Mountain Capital, which offers advisory consulting services and investment in tech startups.
Carter—whose career started as a corporate lawyer in New York, merging companies and taking them public—first came to Dallas in the 90s. At age 27, she was likely the youngest chief legal officer of a public company at the time. Later stints included another 10 years in New York rebuilding Cantor Fitzgerald after 9/11 and working at edtech company Princeton Review.
The investor, who is also co-founder of Cien, was recently featured in Dallas Innovates magazine along with 11 other women shaking up the future of startup investment funding in Dallas-Fort Worth. Here’s how launching—and selling—businesses has been something of a 22-year “side gig.”
CARTER ON HER ‘SIDE GIG’
After the Princeton Review sold to Bain, I moved back to Dallas in 2010 to help take RealPage public. It was at this time that I started Living Mountain Capital, primarily investing in tech entrepreneurs. I’ve bought and sold hundreds of businesses over the years and gotten to know a lot of really amazing people. It’s kind of been my own side gig for 22 years now.
ON “PAYING IT FORWARD”
I started my career a long time ago, when I was generally the only attorney in the room, advising companies and taking them public, the only C-suite executive, the only female director. Over the last two years, I’ve seen more changes in North Texas than ever before. It took a long time to make that happen. I think it’s people—my generation—that are doing it. Now, we’re trying to pay it forward for the next generation.
In Dallas, anything you put your mind to is possible. Anything. I moved here twice to take companies public, and I feel blessed to have had those opportunities. I want to give back and continue to invest in the ecosystem. As women—any entrepreneurs, for that matter—are successful, if they pay it forward, there will be more of us. And as investors do well and get good returns on their investments, they’re going to want to invest more.
For more on female funders, go here to read about the 12 women shaking up the future of startup investment funding in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Interviews, as told to Jasmin Brand, are edited for brevity and clarity. A version was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue.
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The 12 female funders were featured in our fourth annual magazine, Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue, highlights Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub for innovation.
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