Bloody mess: What Elizabeth Holmes’s conviction means for start up culture

Is Theranos founded Elizabeth Holmes’s guilty verdict the kick start-up culture needs to reboot its toxic obsession with fundraising and personality cults over actual results?

In a trial that rocked the business world, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of defrauding investors to the tune of $700 million. The trial, held at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building on January 3, 2022 in San Jose, California found the former CEO, 37, guilty of four counts of fraud, out of 11 charges.

Currently free on a $500,000 bond, Holmes reportedly faces between 80 and 20 years in prison. However, her sentence will not be handed down until the trail of her former business and personal partner Sunny Balwani on related charges has concluded. Balwani was co-president of Theranos for a decade, during which time Holmes claims she was abused by him – claims Balwani denies.

Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University aged 19. The following year the company, which claimed to be able to run extensive blood tests on just a few drops of blood, gathered in excess of $6 million in funding, reaching a valuation of $30 million.

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