Kurt Seidensticker’s Career at NASA and Motorola Led To Creating Vital Proteins

kurt seidensticker

Kurt Seidensticker wasn’t always obsessed with collagen. In fact, before he founded Vital Proteins, he worked at NASA, training astronauts and designing missions, developed cell phone networks, helped create the first internet in the mid- to late-90s and started a fresh-caught fish and steak eCommerce business.

Everything he learned in these endeavors when coupled with chronic pain in his joints, led him to start the clean collagen company that’s quickly evolved into a lifestyle brand.

“I suddenly recognized that everything I had done, all the goals I had set in my life before … I had this epiphany that I was built for this,” Seidensticker told me in front of our very first live audience recording of #WeGotGoals. “This was my purpose. This is what all my other goals culminated in.”

Vital Proteins’ portfolio of clean, minimally-processed products spans from creamers to bone broths to beauty waters, and from matchas to protein powders to supplements. It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, Seidensticker was intrigued by the potential benefits of collagen but couldn’t find the right product to help him.

Alongside his daughter – a doctor – he said they “distilled research papers and showed that your body really needed a lot of collagen, especially as you age.”

“[We] realized [the body] needed probably 20, 30 grams of collagen a day outside of what it could produce itself, outside of what you were getting in your diet.”

Finding that he would have to take countless pills a day to add enough collagen into his daily diet, Seidensticker was dissatisfied. He decided to look for another way to take a larger quantity and more easily incorporate the supplement into his daily life.

At that point he became obsessed with creating what would become Vital Proteins.

“[We] probably spent about a year developing and refining some of the processing to develop a larger form of collagen that you can take.”

This laser-focus and complete dedication is in line with the way Seidensticker views any and all of his goals.

“When you’re thinking about goal setting, it’s great to set a goal, [but] the commitment behind the goal is the key. You almost have to become obsessed with it, meaning nothing else matters.”

He illustrated this point with a fitness goal. When getting into shape with a personal trainer, Seidensticker made it a hard and fast rule that he wouldn’t book a meeting on top of his workout hour. Four to five days a week, he was working out.

And even though it was a personal goal, for Seidensticker it’s always a little bit business.

“If I don’t take that time to set my own personal goals it actually takes away from my ability to lead and run the organization professionally,” he added.

Seidensticker and his team spent the past five years growing rapidly, increasing Vital Proteins’ product offerings. All of that growth and innovation takes trial and error. For any entrepreneur at the beginning of his or her path, he has a key piece of advice: start somewhere, accept that you’ll have failures, but to learn from them, iterate and move on.

For Seidensticker, those mistakes and iterations are exactly what’s made him able to constantly improve.


To hear more high achievers share their keys to success and how you can apply them to your own goals, listen to our episode of #WeGotGoals. Don’t forget to rate and review on iTunes.


About Maggie Umberger

Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.

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