Elizabeth Holmes, 30, dropped out of her chemical engineering degree at Stanford University at 19 and used her tuition money to pursue a business idea she hoped would transform healthcare.
Her goal: No more tourniquets. No more vials. Just a thumb prick of blood and up to 70 lab tests can be performed in less time than traditional tests for earlier detection of illness.
Her fear of needles made her realize that “the system for blood testing was archaic, expensive, painful and slow,” and inspired her to invent a new way to take and test blood.
“I was absolutely convinced that was what I was going to do. Then when I started realizing that a company could be a vehicle for having very direct impact over a change that you are trying to make, I started thinking about the concept of what could I build that could impact a lot of peoples’ lives?” she told CNN Money.
The 30-year-old founded Theranos, a Palo Alto health care technology company, in 2003, valuing the company at $9 billion, with Holmes owning 50% of it. Holmes is currently the third-youngest billionaire, and is quickly rising up the ranks of most-inspiring executives.
Her company partnered with Walgreens and is slowly opening clinics in pharmacies around the country, starting in California and Phoenix. Some tests, such as cholesterol, cost as little as $3.40.
Here’s her interview with Fortune Magazine: