Balance the Books, Forecast the Future at Beverage School
August 19, 2013 by Jeffrey Klineman
BevNET is delighted to announce the addition of Chris Fenster of Propeller Industries as a speaker at Beverage School in San Francisco on Sept. 12. Mr. Fenster will be speaking about the best ways to structure an early-stage beverage company financially with a focus on clear record keeping, accurate forecasting and a true understanding of sales channel margins as tools for avoiding common pitfalls and improving strategic decision-making.
His talk will draw upon the lessons learned while helping dozens of companies in various industries navigate (successfully and unsuccessfully) the common financial challenges of early-stage growth.
Mr. Fenster brings a broad swath of experience with early-stage, growth-oriented companies to BevNET Live. He is the former CFO of the beverage startup Bevology, and has also worked as the consulting CFO for more than 30 early-stage companies through Propeller, a company he started in 2008 as a way to leverage the common financial issues that face startups into an innovative outsourced advisory model. He is strongly grounded in the ways to build — and not to build — a company.
About Chris Fenster:
Chris Fenster is the founder and CEO of Propeller Industries, which provides outsourced CFO and accounting services to emerging growth companies. In his role at Propeller, Chris draws upon 20+ years as an entrepreneur and CFO – helping clients manage finances through Propeller’s web-based systems architecture and providing broad strategic guidance on the specific challenges early-stage companies face. Propeller currently handles over $200M/year in transaction volume through offices in SF, NY and Ketchum, ID, and its clients have raised over $100M in investment capital from top-tier firms.
Prior to Propeller, Chris served as CFO at Bevology, a beverage startup that built national distribution in natural, club, grocery, drug, specialty and DSD markets in its first 18 months. Prior to that he was CFO at Signature Wines, a private-equity-backed turn-around that earned spots in the 2004 and 2005 Inc. 500. Previously, Chris was Director of Finance at Tides Center/Tsunami Fund, where he built a back-office services infrastructure to manage non-profit finances. Prior to that he was a co-owner and CFO of Swobo Clothing, a cycling apparel manufacturer sold to Santa Cruz Bicycles. Before Swobo, Chris was a co-owner and Operations VP at Start to Finish, Inc., a retail store chain sold to Trek Bicycle. Chris started off as a consultant in the San Francisco office of Peterson Consulting.
About BevNET and Beverage School:
BevNET.com is the leading beverage-oriented media company, producing a web site, print magazine, and live conference series. The company was founded in 1996 by John Craven, with its mission to offer, through products in a variety of media, the best, most comprehensive forum for news coverage, expertise, partnership and support for all members of the beverage community.
Since its inception, BevNET.com has become a recognized authority on the beverage industry. BevNET.com and its employees are often used as sources for media publications looking for industry information, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press, CNBC and Wired Magazine.
Since 2009, BevNET has offered Beverage School, a mix of live courses and online content that provide beverage entrepreneurs with instructional tools to launch and grow their companies in the rewarding but high-risk beverage industry.