Julia Hu

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Julia Hu (born March 24, 1985) is an American entrepreneur and the co-founder and chief executive officer of the digital health company Lark Health. Hu was named one of the “Top 10 Women in Tech to Watch” by Forbes and was a winner of Inc. Magazine’s “30 under 30, Class of 2013".[1] She was listed in 2016 as one of “17 Female Healthcare CEOs to Know,” in Becker’s Hospital Review,[2] and was honored in 2017 as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40".[3] Silicon Valley Business Journal listed Hu as one of “Silicon Valley's 2018 Women of Influence".[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Julia Hu is an only child and the daughter of Victoria Chen and James Hu. She attended North Hollywood High School's Highly Gifted Magnet (North Hollywood, California) graduating in 2002. Hu was a member of the 2001 championship National Science Bowl team,[5] whose members included her future husband and Lark Health co-founder Jeff Zira.[6]

Hu graduated from Stanford University with a BS and MS in environmental engineering and design thinking. Hu launched her entrepreneurial career before returning to school to pursue an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management in to study more business strategies, but left midway to found Lark Health.[7]

Hu dealt with an undiagnosed chronic condition for several decades; she managed her chronic pain and attacks through major changes in diet, exercise, stress and pain management. Hu’s personal experience struggling with chronic disease inspired her later interest in making compassionate healthcare accessible to all. Hu names Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, as a mentor who supported her vision of Lark.[8]


Hu was the founder and CEO of smart home startup EMOD. Her second venture into entrepreneurship was as a member of the founding team of Cleantech Open,[6] which is a non-profit organization and now the world’s largest Cleantech incubator.[9] Hu was an international marketing consultant for BOP renewables company D.light Design, which focuses on renewable solar energy.[10]

Hu founded Lark Technologies in 2011 with the development of a wearable sleep monitor and an accompanying app that used artificial intelligence (AI)-based coaching to improve sleep. The company increased its coaching to include nutrition and physical activity and stopped producing hardware, and relaunched as an app in late 2015. Business Insider named Lark among the "10 Most Innovative App Companies of 2015" alongside Uber, Google Photos, Snapchat, and Slack,[11] and Apple named Lark one of the "10 Best Apps of 2015" out of all apps in the app store.[12]

Hu is a faculty member at Singularity University,[13] Board Director at the Council for Diabetes Prevention[14] and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.[15] She has advised Barack Obama,[16] and has stated that her “proudest achievement was when Lark received recognition by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention".[8]

Personal life[edit]

Hu moved to Silicon Valley in 2011 with Jeff Zira, whom she married on October 9, 2016, in Los Angeles, California.


  1. ^ Fenn, Donna (14 May 2013). "Meet the 30 Under 30, Class of 2013". Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  2. ^ Wood, Megan (12 October 2016). "17 female health IT company CEOs to know". Becker's Hospital Review. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  3. ^ Hickle, J (11 July 2017). "2017's Class of 40 Under 40". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  4. ^ Stock, LP (20 March 2018). "A decade of influential women: Silicon Valley's 2018 Women of Influence announced". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Past High School National Science Bowl Winners (1991 - 2018)". U.S. Department of Energy. 25 November 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b Gilpin, Lyndsey (27 July 2015). "Julia Hu: Lark founder. Digital health maven. Hip-hop dancer". TechRepublic. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  7. ^ Taylor, Andrea Browne (13 July 2013). "6 Women Who Built Successful Businesses by Age 35". Kiplinger. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b Hickle, J (11 July 2017). "40 Under 40: Julia Hu of Lark Technologies". Silicon Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Cleantech Open". Cleantech Open. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  10. ^ Heath, Alex (25 November 2018). "Company Overview of Lark Technologies, Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  11. ^ "The 10 most innovative apps in the world". Business Insider. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Apple's 10 best apps of 2015". Bloomberg. November 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Julia Hu. Co-founder and CEO, Lark". Singularity U. 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  14. ^ Caffrey, Mary (11 January 2017). "Council for Diabetes Prevention Selects Board, Focused on Medicare Launch of DPP". AJMC. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Board of Directors". Silicon Valley Leadership Group. November 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  16. ^ Yien Chung, Jun (5 December 2017). "Can AI be compassionate?". VSee. Retrieved 22 April 2019.