Founding Team

Joanna Strober Co-founder, CEO

As a successful businesswoman and mother of three, Joanna knows the challenge of balancing family life with a busy career firsthand. That’s why she ensures that Kurbo provides real support for parents and kids—making it easier and less stressful to achieve a healthy lifestyle that lasts.

Mark Vershel Co-founder, CTO, Operations

As an MIT-educated engineer, Mark is an expert in building smart, intuitive consumer products. He takes the lead on Kurbo’s app and website improvements, while overseeing day-to-day operations.

Thea Runyan, MPH Co-founder, Content & Coaching

With 15 years of expertise in pediatric weight loss at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Thea is passionate about helping kids, teens and families adopt healthier lifestyles. As our resident health and weight management expert, Thea oversees our coaching program, while posting helpful tips and tricks to the Kurbo blog.

The Kurbo Founding Story

It all started when co-founder and CEO Joanna Strober was struggling to find an effective program for managing her son’s weight. While hundreds of weight loss tools were available for adults, none of them were safe for kids. Joanna’s search led her to Stanford’s Pediatric Weight Control Program, which has been proven effective and safe at helping kids lose weight and keep it off. Unfortunately, the program cost thousands of dollars, operating on an inconvenient schedule for working parents, and was only available locally. Joanna knew that if she could translate Stanford’s proven program into a convenient and affordable format, she would have the potential to help millions of kids and families worldwide. That’s how Kurbo was born.

Our Medical Advisory Board

Len Epstein, Ph.D

Department of Pediatrics, SUNY (Buffalo) Distinguished Professor and Chief, Behavioral Medicine

Lee Sanders, MD, MPH

Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford

Dana Weintraub, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Sophia Yen, MD, MPH

Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Stanford

James Lock, MD

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and, by courtesy, of Pediatrics

Adina Safer, MBA, MPH

Senior VP and Healthcare Executive of ADVI focused on distribution and reimbursement

Sarah Adler, Psy.D

Clinical psychologist at Stanford focusing on behavioral medicine and CBT

Alan Greene, MD

Pediatrician dedicated to using information technology to make pediatric wisdom more accessible

Our Investors

We closed our initial angel round in September 2013. Here are a few of the investor groups and individuals who participated:

Data Collective VC

Signia Ventures

Promus Ventures

Rock Health

Bessemer Venture Partners

Susan Wojcicki


Greg Badros


Esther Dyson


See if Kurbo is right for your family

1 (800) 444-7158

to talk to us about Kurbo Coaching