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Helena Merk

Hey! I'm Helena, a former Duke student and current startup founder. I left Duke half way through my sophomore year to move to the Bay Area and join a startup. Late 2019, I left and started Glimpse with another Duke student (Brian Li). Currently we live together with 5 other founders in 1-month Airbnbs around the California coast.

L's Taken


"Thank you for applying but..."


Thing I thought I'd finish but never did

  • 99% of my medium articles


Everyday L's of life

On the Bright Side


Memories I made when I wasn't working/studying


Thing I've learned that will still matter in 10 years

  • Life is too short to spend time on something you do not care about


TV shows, movies, and books I've enjoyed

  • The Kite Runner 

  • Silicon Valley


Things I'm proud of that you won't see on my resume


Unconventional skills


Quirks that make me who I am


Small joys in my life

  • Watching the sunrise every morning 

  • Making pourover coffee 

  • Sharing songs on spotify 

  • Slowly convincing housemates to become vegan 

  • Facetiming my dogs


Obstacles I have overcome


Thing I've done that pushed me out of my comfort zone

  • I try to constantly put myself out of my comfort zone. I learnt at Duke that by maximizing discomfort, I could maximize personal growth. For example, I took a comedy class (although I'm terrified of speaking in front of a crowd), and constantly volunteer for speaking opportunities (to get over this said fear).


Failures that seemed like the end of the world back then but don't matter in hindsight


Leaps of Faith

  • Dropping out of Duke 

  • Quitting my job to build a startup full-time


Life event that has made me stronger

  • Fracturing my back was more of a mental struggle than physical. It prevented me from doing any of my former stress relievers (running, snowboarding, etc.).


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