Hiccups, we all get them from time to time, and the most annoying thing about them is they are so darn hard to get rid of. But 13-year-old Mallory Kievman seems to have finally found a cure to this irritating problem – a hiccup-stopping lollipop called the Hiccupop.
Mallory’s quest to find a real cure for hiccups started during the summer of 2010. She had tried to cure her uncontrollable hiccups by swallowing saltwater, making herself gag, eating a spoonful of sugar, drinking a glass of water upside-down or sipping pickle juice. None of those seemed to work on their own, but the ambitious young girl was determined to find a real cure for the annoying problem man has been facing since the beginning of time. Fast forward two years and almost 100 folk remedies tried, Mallory Kievman has reached her goal and is starting a company to commercialize and promote her magic product – Hiccupops.
Believe it or not, the stubborn inventor created the special hiccup-stopper right in her family’s kitchen, in Manchester, Connecticut. After a lengthy process of trial and error, Mallory decided to incorporate her three favorite cures – lollipops, apple cider vinegar and sugar - into one killer combo she named Hiccupops. “It triggers a set of nerves in your throat and mouth that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc. It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup,” the 13-year-old says.
But Mallory didn’t just rest on her laurels after inventing Hiccupops, she went on to present her product to the world, and during a convention for kids, she met Danny Briere, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Startup Connecticut. She knew that people would immediately fall in love with Hiccupops or just think she was nuts. Lucky for her, and everyone who hates hiccups, Briere loved her idea and decided to help this young girl launch her own company. “It’s very rare, when you’re evaluating businesses, that you can envision a company or product being around 100 years from now. Hiccupops is one of those things. It solves a very simple, basic need”, Briere said about Mallory’s invention, and it’s hard to disagree with him on this one.
Now, Mallory Kievman will have her own team of consultants, as the University of Connecticut’s Innovation Accelerator is preparing to dispatch a group of graduate business students to help the 13-year-old inventor launch Hiccupops, this summer. Mallory hopes her hiccup-stopping lollipop will become a staple of school nurses’ offices and drugstores, and that it will even bring serious benefit to people suffering from cancer, as it is known that chemotherapy causes hiccups. Now that she’s managed to find a formula that hardens well and is stable for shelf storage, Mallory is focusing on tweaking the taste of her Hiccupops.