Meet Silicon Valley’s Biggest Fraud, Elizabeth Holmes, Many Still Think She’s a Genius Ahead of Her Time
5The company is set up
Holmes did not relent and finally managed to enlist the support of Channing Robertson, the dean of the School of Engineering. With him as the company’s first board member, she incorporated the company as Theranos and hired her first employees. She rented the basement of a college group house and rented lab space.
The company began on the premise that the patch would be able to detect illnesses at their early stages. People would be able to do tests at home itself, thus not wasting time going to hospitals and waiting for lab test results. Following this, the patch was replaced by a portable machine that would just need a tiny drop of blood to diagnose, like a glucometer.
Channing Robertson introduced Holmes to venture capitalists. The first million dollars invested in the company were by a friend of the Holmes family, Tim Draper. Since he was well-known in Washington circles, the startup started getting more and more attention. Figures like Barack Obama, Rupert Murdoch, George Schultz, and Henry Kissinger, among other Washington D.C. notables, were investing and interested in her company.
8Obsession with Steve Jobs
Holmes deeply admired the founder of Apple Inc., the late Steve Jobs. She carefully replicated his style and often wore black turtleneck sweaters, like Jobs. During public appearances, she would speak in a deep, baritone voice, which most knew was not her real voice. Her family maintained that this was her actual voice.