Small Business Spotlight: Spartos Water

Who: Kirk Bardin

What: An all-natural flavored protein water

When: 2008

Where: Valencia, California

How: Founder Kirk Bardin says that his time spent playing football at Cal led him to become really familiar with the offerings when it came to protein beverages. “I was set to graduate law school, and I had an epiphany: What if I could bring the best attributes of protein shakes and enhanced waters together, with amino acids and good nutrients, and none of the bad stuff?” says Bardin, describing his journey to launch Spartos Water.

“Consuming protein shouldn’t have to be a painful experience,” he adds.

Bardin funded the research and development phase of his company for two and a half years.  Spartos Water is about to close a Series A round of funding for $2 million, says Bardin.

Biggest challenge: Bardin says the biggest hurdle has been education: “People don’t understand it off the bat – they think protein has to come either from shakes or from meat.”

One moment in time: “I received a call from a woman who spent ten minutes on the phone saying that the product changed her life,” says Bardin.

Best business advice: “Surround yourself with good people. It doesn’t just mean hiring good people; it means surrounding yourself with friends and family who will be supportive of your dream,” says Bardin.

Most influential book: Bardin says that the Bible has shaped the way he runs his life and his business.

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol