If you are scrolling on social media or turn on the TV recently, you may see a familiar name on your feed. Who am I talking about? Well if you guessed Elizabeth Holmes, you’re right. At one point describe as a self-made billionaire (estimated net worth 4.5 billion dollars ), she was look by many as the sweet heart of Silicon Valley. The former CEO of Theranos is making headlines, not because of her ground-breaking research but rather, she is facing trial to determine how many years she will be behind bars because of her elaborate fraud.
It wasn’t always like this. Elizabeth was a student at Stanford but dropout to start Theranos. Raising millions of dollars from private backing she tried to develop a one drop diagnostic machine, which wasn’t a bad idea… If it worked, her idea would have revolutionize how we drew blood from patients. The company sounded legit, it seem like the next Unicorn of Silicon but there was much more to it.
Holmes receive a crazy amount of media coverage from Wall Street Journal to CNBC. Known as the next Steve Jobs of Biotech, she was often seen wearing a black turtleneck to her interviews. She glorified Steve.
After rising quickly, a year later Theranos cease to exist. Her allege deals with the US government using her technology for first responders was a hoax. Walgreens at one point had a contract with Theranos of using their machines for blood diagnostics, which it made it seem as a legitimate company, but pull back their contract when they started to see inconsistencies. It wasn’t really what it was said to be. They never had a Theranos machine running from a blood drop but she just diluted a drop of blood so it could be use with third party machine from Siemen.
Wall Street Journal brought national attention on how Theranos brave about their machines but have never once demonstrated data. As this drew national attention to Elizabeth, she was questioned by investors about the data of their blood tests. Soon shortly, investors found out that Theranos never had a working prototype.
SEC Levies civil has announced the charges against Ramesh Balwani and Elizabeth Holmes for running a fraud and tricking investors. She has already agreed to pay a penalty of $500,000 but the damages may not be fully understood. It is hard to put a price in risking the lives of patients. As we await trial, we will see what future lies ahead for Holmes.