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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Margot Carter, Cien.ai

The CEO of Cien.ai and president of Living Mountain Capital talks about the startup ecosystem in DFW, generative AI, and more.
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Margot Carter

The co-founder of CRM data optimization company Cien.ai, Margot Carter, also serves as president of Living Mountain Capital, a firm that invests in tech-focused businesses. Its portfolio includes Austin-based Capital Factory and Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge. Carter follows a philosophy of generative leadership.

“It’s a holistic and purposeful approach in which leaders strive to make the world and their organizations better than they found it using their head, heart, and hands,” she explains. “It focuses on enriching experiences for people, incorporating diverse perspective, and emphasizing a culture of learning to help them realize greater potential. We seize opportunities to innovate through embracing change and leveraging tech.”

Education

Fordham University (JD), Binghamton University (BA)

Birthplace

New York, New York

Proud Moment

“My company, Cien.ai, a platform for cleaning up your CRM data, has greatly benefited from the growing recognition of the advantages and necessity of generative AI. We established our company 7 years ago and have since collaborated with large tech-enabled services clients and highly respected global management consultant firms on projects aimed at enhancing CRM performance through our artificial intelligence platform. We possess the capability to swiftly identify over multi millions in additional earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) within their go-to-market team. Consequently, our clients promptly act upon the data-driven insights and recommendations provided by our platform to realize these benefits. The successful outcomes experienced by our clients enable our global management consulting firms to automate and expand their customer performance practice using our AI platform.”

Prized Possession

“That’s a tricky question. I’m unsure if pets would technically fit into this category, but I have a profound affection for my Golden Doodle, Exy. He’s nearly 13 years old and holds a cherished place as a valued member of our family. Exy embodies gentleness, loyalty, and happiness, enjoying adventures around Dallas and indulging in long naps in my office.”

Key Strategy

“I believe in generative leadership. Generative leadership embodies a comprehensive and purpose-driven methodology whereby leaders endeavor to enhance the world and their organizations, surpassing their initial state by employing their intellect, empathy, and action. The strategies of generative leadership are tailored to reenvision and revitalize business operations, generating fresh value not only for the enterprise but also for individuals, society, and the communities we engage with. This approach prioritizes enhancing human experiences, integrating diverse viewpoints, and fostering a culture of continuous learning to unlock greater potential. Furthermore, we actively pursue opportunities to innovate through novel work methodologies, embracing change, and harnessing cutting-edge technologies.”

Childhood Dream

“Growing up in the suburbs of Manhattan, I enjoyed the energy and excitement of going into the city with my family and friends. As a child, I had dreams of becoming the Mayor of New York City, living in the Big Apple and making it an even better place. While I never actually made it to Gracie Mansion, I did live out part of my childhood vision by living in Manhattan throughout law school and starting my professional career at big law Morgan, Lewis and helping to rebuild Cantor Fitzgerald after 9/11.”

Embarrassing Moment

“After I learned how to drive, I could not wait to have my own car to drive to work. Walking home from school the next day, I saw a very, very old, white Buick in my driveway. I thought we had visitors. It never dawned on me that would be my car. My father handed me the car keys and told me driving it would build character. I remember parking far away to avoid people seeing me drive it. Over time, my friends and I grew to love that old safe car, which we affectionately named Herman. My dad was right. I became grateful for Herman, my embarrassment faded away and I parked Herman wherever I wanted.”

Food I Hate

“I love food and enjoy trying new types of cuisine. I haven’t found anything yet that I truly dislike.”

Go-To Adviser

“I am inspired by Steve Winn, the founder and chairman of RealPage, who convinced me to move back to Dallas. He is a visionary and smart business leader. He saw a business gap and changed his career path to start a new business later in life to achieve enormous success. He understands the power of collaboration, the value of hard work, and the need to continuously transform to keep up with a dynamic marketplace.”

Industry Change

“Our industry consists of sales and rev-ops consultants, who are tasked with identifying go-to-market problems within their clients’ sales and marketing teams. Many are using outdated, legacy approaches using surveys or third party data as inputs to provide PowerPoint outputs. Let me explain why this needs to change. Consider if you were sick and went to a doctor but the doctor only asks you a few questions and refers to an old reference manual to provide you with a diagnosis without actually examining you? Would you be confident in the doctor’s assessment of your health? No, I am sure you would prefer the doctor to do the latest tests and listen to your heart to prescribe you with an effective treatment with proper follow up. With AI-enabled GTM analysis, you can get a detailed personalized analysis of your GTM efforts as painless as your annual health physical. And, just as important.”

Hobby/Passion

“I enjoy yoga at Klyde Warren Park and working out at CycleBar Uptown.”

Destinations of Choice

“I love Spain for its architecture, cuisine, and, of course, its people—especially my Cien team in Barcelona. Last summer, on behalf of the AJC, we had the honor of presenting King Felipe VI of Spain with an award at his palace. I also love Israel, not just for its history and beauty, but also for its entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in technology, which includes exploring the vast potential of AI. New York is also very special to me because I can visit with family and friends, relish the excitement of the city, and enjoy some downtime in the Hamptons.”

Must-Read

“I recommend AI Superpowers and AI 2041, by Kai-Fu Lee, which are great primers for those looking to learn more about AI. I also enjoy Kim Zoller, CEO of ID360, and listening to her content and reading her blogs on leadership and self-care.”

Future Forecast

“There are so many things that excite me about the future! First, I love Dallas and it keeps getting better and better. Anything is possible in DFW as evidenced by the can-do attitude and the constant drive for excellence and outperformance. I am excited about the opportunity to continue to grow the innovative culture and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dallas, especially relating to venture capital and funding availability. I believe Texas can be the ‘start-up’ state with Dallas as the world class business destination for innovation, just like we are for large corporate businesses. I am equally excited about the advancement of AI and the ability of companies, like Cien, to increase revenue faster at much lower costs and better results, such as increasing productivity, transparency, and efficiency. In addition, I am also super excited to work with Generation Z because I share their passion to make the world a better place. I see the energy, enthusiasm, and vision for new possibilities first-hand in my son, his fiancé, and their friends and colleagues. Generation Z has a lot to offer, they have the desire and dedication to make a difference.”

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D CEO Staff

D CEO Staff

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