Chisos Hires CFO Ken Aseme to Help Fund Early-Stage Founders

Will Stringer, CEO of Chisos, found SiliconCFO in August 2020 and within just a few weeks had hired one of our CFOs, Ken Aseme, onto his team. I caught up with Will a couple of months later to hear about his experience hiring a fractional CFO.

Jacob Sheldon: Tell me about your startup!

Will Stringer: Chisos is an investment platform that provides funding for idea-stage and side-hustle businesses. Chisos uses a Convertible Income Share agreement to write checks of $15k to 50K for early-stage founders. We look for companies that don’t fit the “grow at all costs” venture capital funding model, or the predictable 5-year growth with hard asset collateral model usually required for bank business loans. Instead, we look for ideas, founders, and companies with potential and an actionable plan. When we find them, we connect them with the capital and community they need to succeed.

Sheldon: What challenges did you hire your CFO to solve?

Stringer: We primarily hired our fractional CFO to offload finance and accounting work. Ken has accounting systems in place to efficiently run our books. He also has the skillset and time to walk through our unique corporate structure and help us think through potential future challenges.

A secondary benefit is his expertise, especially around fund formation, management, and compliance. Ken knows how to work with fund admin, auditors, investors, and other players in the ecosystem. He has already helped us identify cost savings and create a valuation policy.

Sheldon: How did you choose your CFO out of the options we sent you?

Stringer: We chose Ken because of his background with fund managers. He has done the job many times before and knows what to look for and how to execute

Sheldon: What scope of responsibilities did you set for the CFO and why?

Stringer: We were looking for a CFO to first, help us get our books in order, second, help us manage compliance and accounting around the fund, and third, help us think through growth capital options, forecasting, and budgeting

Sheldon: How would you describe your CFO’s expertise and/or experience?

Stringer: Ken has over a decade of fund admin and fund accounting experience. He also has an extensive accounting background.

Sheldon: How would you describe the outcome of hiring your CFO?

Stringer: So far we are extremely pleased with the outcome of hiring a CFO. Ken has helped us on a number of fronts as we launch our fund and raise capital.

Sheldon: What advice would you give to other startup founders when it comes to hiring a fractional CFO?

Stringer: Understand the CFO’s expertise and experience. We chose Ken because he had expertise with fund managers, which was exactly what we needed. I personally have experience modeling and forecasting, so that piece is less important to Chisos at this point. Founders need to be very clear on what they actually need to help them grow the business or manage accounting/finance tasks.

For more information on how to find and hire a fractional CFO, go to SiliconCFO.com.