By Alexa Gonzales
Elizabeth Holmes, 30, America’s youngest, self-made billionaire, does not even have a college degree. In 2003, she dropped out of Stanford University and abandoned her chemical engineering major to pursue her own entrepreneurial pursuits.
Motivated by her phobia of needles and funded by the money that would have gone to her college tuition, Holmes spent the next ten years developing the diagnostic company, Theranos: a new technology that only requires a finger prick of blood to get health results.
Holmes’ fear of shots and belief that the process of taking blood via needles was outdated and slow made her determined to develop a change. Now with Theranos, only one drop of blood from a finger prick can determine thirty lab test results in less than four hours, the company claims, all at the cost of only $30.
The Theranos Wellness Center is stationed in Palo Alto, California. Theranos has partnered with Walgreens and is currently offered in twenty Walgreens stores, though Holmes aims for it to be available in every Walgreens store in the nation.
Holmes told USA today that she hopes Theranos will enable everyone, “no matter how much money they have, or where they live, or what kind of insurance they have, to be able to have access to the kind of testing information that could change their lives.”
Abram Brown, associate editor for Forbes magazine, says that Holmes could easily “overturn an entire industry if Theranos is as successful as it seems to be,” and it surely does seem to be drastically changing the ways of healthcare.
With a 50% stake in her company, Holmes has a net worth of $4.5 billion, making her a newcomer to the Forbes 400 rich list and officially the youngest self-made female billionaire in America.