Shot Callers: Mark Mastalir, Co-CEO of Halo Neuroscience


(Sports Tech Tokyo is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

As humanity’s collective knowledge of the human body continues to evolve, consumers are understanding more and more the importance of a healthy brain in order to become a better athlete. Because of this, they are willing to purchase products that can improve their neurological health right in the comfort of their homes.

Mark Mastalir is the Co-CEO and Chief Marketing Officer of Halo Neuroscience: a neurotechnology company focused on human performance. Halo Sport utilizes neuropriming technology to accelerate the neurologic gains of strength and skill learning that result from athletic training. Mastalir spoke with Front Office Sports at Sports Tech Tokyo about the importance of the brain’s role in physical fitness, the growth of the company, and educating the general public on the science behind their products.

Edited highlights appear below:

What intrigued him about joining Halo (1:25)

Mastalir: “I always look at the founders of a company and what their pedigree is and what they’ve done in their past. Our founders are just amazing people that earned their PhDs in neuroscience, their Stanford MD. So there’s amazing science behind what we do. But mostly I look at products that are disruptive and that change people’s lives and Halo interests me because it was the world’s first consumer brain stimulator company. They had a really cool idea, a cool product and that’s how I got involved.”

SEE MORE: Shot Callers: Charlie Greenwood, Founder of Triple Scout

On teaching the public about their products and the safety of it (2:06)

Mastalir: “When we launched the business, there were a lot of things we had to overcome. I mean not the least of which was the science behind the products that we developed, which is called transcranial direct current stimulation. There’s also the explaining of the motor cortex, its role in athletic training, talking about the safety, and I’ll talk a little bit about the efficacy. Does it work? I mean there’s been a lot of products launched in the past where frankly they’re a bit snake oily. People just question the claims that that a lot of companies make. We rely on about 15 years of research in the field of transcranial direct current simulations.

On price points and sales for Halo products (4:40)

Mastalir: “Our first product, Halo Sport One, which we’ve now sold out of it was $749 was the MSRP. WIth things, like understanding the science being condensed, it’s really hard to sell a product that price point. I’m proud to say we sold over 20,000 units in the first product. So a lot of those are out in the wild. But the new product that we announced here, at Sport Tech Tokyo is a $299 product. That’s what we’re pre-selling for and they will eventually be $399. It’s opened up a whole new market to us. People are price sensitive obviously. And what we’re hoping to do is I give someone a product that has a quality of let’s say a Beats by Dre headphone in that our audio quality tests perfectly against that product.”

SEE MORE: Shot Callers: Eric Mastalir of Nike

On what success looks like for him and his company (6:01)

Mastalir: “We’ve got some great investors behind us. But the truth of the matter is, even though we’ve sold 20,000 units, that’s not considered success, if you will, in the hardware industry. You’ve got to sell 50,000 to a hundred thousand a year. So we’ve got a lot of work to do to continue to educate customers and kind of pour gasoline on the fire. We’ve got about 35 employees in San Francisco. Not a ton, but these people really, really passionately care about neuroscience, the brain and just helping people become better. Today we debuted the motor cortex product, we’re working on products for other areas of the brain. The frontal cortex area of your brain is responsible for memory, focus, attention, concentration. Many more people care about improving their memory than they worry about their motor cortex area of their brain. So that’s the future of the business and we’re excited about where we are with that.”