The Story of Hiccupops
Hiccups. Everyone gets them, and everyone hates them. They have perplexed mankind for millennia, and stopping them was thought to be impossible.
Hiccups are a reflex. While sometimes hiccups can be funny, they can also be painful, and persistent. Hiccups are a little-known side effect of medical treatments like cancer chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, and anesthesia and can dramatically affect the quality of life for many patients who are already suffering.
“Mother of invention, meet your daughter” – Rich Maloof, columnist, MSN Living
Mallory Kievman suffered regular bouts of the hiccups herself in the summer of 7th grade. She refused to accept that there was nothing she could do about it, so Mallory spent hundreds of hours researching both the physiology of hiccups and the folk remedies that persisted (despite their general ineffectiveness.) After weeks of trial and error (and continued hiccupping), Mallory identified 3 ingredients and approaches (with some scientific merit) that worked to soothe her own hiccups: apple cider vinegar, sugar, and sucking a lollipop. Mallory combined all 3 and coined her invention the “Hiccupop.”
With the advent of Hiccupops, stopping the hiccups is no longer impossible.
Mallory is now a patented inventor (U.S. Patent number 8,563,030), and her creation is believed to work by over-stimulating a set of nerves in the throat and mouth that may be responsible for the hiccup relflex arc. Doctors and nurses at top research institutions have expressed interest in Hiccupops, and further clinical research is being conducted in 2015.
Mallory found that developing the concept for Hiccupops was the easy part of the entrepreneurial process. She has had to overcome numerous challenges in product formulation to achieve a shelf-stable lollipop. She solved those production issues in her kitchen, only to repeat the process again during the scale-up that would allow Hiccupops to be produced on industrial-scale manufacturing equipment. Hiccupops are now on the brink of commercialization, and are produced at a specialized facility in Texas.
A junior in high school, Mallory is also a life science entrepreneur. She delivered a keynote speech at the May 2014 CT Invention Convention, and issued a challenge to the inventors: to develop and commercialize their products and to give back to the community. Mallory has committed a percentage of the profits from Hiccupops to support programs like the CIC that encourage youth entrepreneurship and innovation.
Some highlights of Mallory’s recent experience includes:
- Ringing the Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange as part of Startup America
- Feature articles in Inc. Magazine and The New York Times
- Television segments on Disney’s “Make Your Mark” and Nickelodeon’s “Figure It Out”
- Invited presenter at the Inc. 500 Awards Ceremony