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'The Dropout' Part 1: Where ex-Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes got her start

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Published on Mar 16, 2019

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The ambitious young Stanford student dropped out of school to pursue her idea of creating a blood testing device that would run tests on a drop or two of blood.

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Ex-Theranos employees describe culture of secrecy at Elizabeth Holmes' startup: ‘The Dropout’ podcast ep. 1

Not so long ago, Elizabeth Holmes was Silicon Valley’s rising star. Like so many of the most successful entrepreneurs before her, she dropped out of college to start a company. But unlike many others, her startup would go on to be valued at almost $10 billion making her the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.

The company was called Theranos, a combination of the words “therapy” and “diagnosis.” It was praised for being revolutionary and for creating a breakthrough that would change the medical industry forever.

Her board of directors was a who’s who of government heavyweights that at a time included former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Henry Kissinger, former Secretaries of Defense Gen. James Mattis and William Perry and former U.S. Senators Bill Frist and Sam Nunn.

Investments came from some of the wealthiest and most connected people in the world, like media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Walton family, the DeVos family and even the Kraft family behind the New England Patriots.

But it all came crashing down. Today, Holmes is facing up to 20 years in prison and awaiting a criminal trial for charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, to which she has pleaded not guilty.

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