DURHAM – Former Duke University counselors Holly B. Rogers and Libby Webb never planned on becoming tech entrepreneurs.

But that’s exactly what they are after recently launching the Koru Mindfulness app.

The app serves as a companion to their own unique, evidence-based curriculum called Koru, which is specifically dedicated to teaching mindfulness to college students and other young adults.

“The ways of teaching meditation and mindfulness to people, in general, just didn’t fit with college students,” recalled Rogers, who was working as a psychiatrist at Duke’s Student Counseling Center when she came up with the idea.

At the time, many of the students coming in had “stress-related challenges.”

“I knew that if we could find a meaningful way to teach them mindfulness, we could help them with that. The problem was, there wasn’t a way to teach them that made sense to them. I couldn’t get with them to stick with it enough.”

So they founded the Center for Koru Mindfulness in 2013, with the first teacher-training course starting the following year.

The Koru curriculum is a weekly, 75-minute class taught over four weeks by a trained and certified Koru teacher.

The app, developed in partnership with Durham’s software firm Smashing Boxes, is the second iteration and is a course tool that includes simple breathing exercises, a logbook, inspiration messages, a class “community garden,” and updated guided meditations.

“Once you’re enrolled in a Koru class, the app walks you every step of your class, connects you with your teacher, gives you feedback on your meditations,” said Rogers.

These days, she adds, there are almost 700 teachers in a dozen countries teaching thousands of students a year.

“We’re committed to this idea of helping young adults everywhere thrive, live just and meaningful lives, in touch with their authentic values. We really see mindfulness as an avenue to doing that. Our goal is to make it available to everybody, everywhere.”