If you’ve never heard of Elizabeth Holmes from Silicon Valley, it’s time to learn a few facts about her
Elizabeth has entered the top ten ranking of outstanding women.
31-year-old Holmes is the youngest “self-made” female billionaire in the United States. In the media, she is called “Steve Jobs in a skirt.”
In the company of actresses, singers and athletes who occupied the top list, this businesswoman, unknown to the general public, looks like a black sheep, but arouses curiosity: who’s this girl?
Her business is biotechnology.
The fortune of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and co-owner of the pharmaceutical company Theranos, is estimated at $ 4.6 billion, and the value of the entire business is $9 billion.
The main development of Theranos today, which took about 10 years, is an improved technology for diagnosing human health by blood analysis: cheaper, faster, painless and informative.
The innovation of Theranos is that one drop of a patient’s blood is enough to produce about 30 different studies, that is, to obtain a huge amount of medical information.
Holmes’s colleagues kept their developments in the strictest secrecy for years. So when Theranos innovations blew up the pharmaceutical market in 2014, Elizabeth was a dark horse for the public.
By October 2014, she turned out to be a newcomer to the Forbes list, further fueling interest in her personality.
From an ordinary family
Elizabeth Holmes was born in Washington on February 3, 1984 in the family of a rescue worker and an employee of the US Congress.
Because of her father’s work, Elizabeth spent her adolescence in China, where the girl learned Chinese. Then the Holmeses returned to the USA and Elizabeth entered Stanford University to study chemistry. However at the age of 19, the future founder of Theranos decided to quit her alma mater to start her own business.
“When the moment comes and you understand what you were born for, you just start doing what you have to do” (E. Holmes).
Did everything on her own
The parents allowed the girl to invest the money they had set aside for college in her startup. Apart from this little family help, Holmes did everything herself. She was doing research in a rented laboratory, looking for investors.
Since the startup’s potential was obvious (many people regularly take blood tests), there was no shortage of those who wanted to invest, it was only their quality.
Elizabeth had to filter out those who were eager for immediate profit: she knew that her research would take more than one year.
Didn’t wake up famous
Theranos was founded in 2003. For the next few years, Elizabeth, according to her mother, worked literally tirelessly. She could neither leave the lab nor get up from her desk at home for weeks.
The first research results that glorified Theranos were made public only in 2013, when the company announced cooperation with Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States.
Now you can do a blood test right at the pharmacy, getting the results in a few hours.
Since 2013, such publications as Fortune, Forbes and The New Yorker has written about Holmes.
She is respectable…
Otherwise, how can we explain that Theranos has two former U.S. Secretaries of State on its board of directors: Henry Kissinger and George Schultz?
Fellow pharmacists and biotechnologists describe Holmes as a brilliant personality and explain that she is more a scientist than an entrepreneur.
They are impressed by her main purpose. “Theranos is based on the belief that access to the necessary information about one’s own health is a basic human right” (E. Holmes).
She does look like Jobs
They say that a printed biography of Steve Jobs hangs on the wall in Elizabeth’s office. Even the style of Holmes resembles the image of the founder of Apple: modest clothes in dark colors, the favorite wardrobe item is a black turtleneck.
Elizabeth did not graduate from a higher educational institution, as did Jobs (Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel did the same at their time).
Turned a small weakness into a big competitive advantage
Holmes admitted in an interview that one of the impulses to create a new technology was her fear of needles. The procedure of blood donation always scared her very much.
She considers her father, a lifeguard, and grandfather, a medic, to be the main sources of inspiration. Elizabeth believes that she is also a kind of a lifeguard.