By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Government
Investors and business students are helping to bring Mallory Kievman's hiccupops to hospitals and pharmacies.
While many middle schoolers have a hard enough time figuring out algebra problems, one had her hands full solving one of life's most annoying problems: hiccups.
After spending two years ingesting volumes of medical literature and swallowing saltwater, pickle juice and every well-known folk remedy out there, the 13-year-old Mallory Kievman finally came up with a cure that she feels actually works. The next step, which involves filing a patent and forming a company to manufacture, market and distribute her "Hiccupops," is in the works as she has enlisted the help of MBA students and an established angel investor.
The eighth grader from Talcott Mountain Academy in Connecticut is thinking big -- way beyond local science fairs. After winning honors at her school's invention fair last year, Kievman was chosen to showcase her idea at the Connecticut Invention Convention, where she won awards for innovation and patent-ability. The annual competition for kid inventors was also where she met investor Danny Briere, who founded Startup Connecticut, a state initiative created to assist promising home-grown entrepreneurs. Briere has since become one of Kievman's biggest supporters and helped arrange for her to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
“It’s very rare, when you’re evaluating businesses, that you can envision a company or product being around 100 years from now,” Briere told the New York Times. “Hiccupops is one of those things. It solves a very simple, basic need.”
The special concoction she found to work best is a blend of apple cider vinegar, acids and sugar served up in the form of a lollipop. Kievman explains that the combination activates specific nerves located in the throat and mouth that cause the hiccup reflex arc. In theory, by overstimulating those nerves, you can cancel out the reflex.
Though it was challenging enough just identifying which ingredients were most effective, she also had to go through more than 40 batches of candy to come up with the a recipe that would enable the candy to harden just right. She's currently playing with the formula to get the lollipops to taste the way lollipops should.
And while she didn't receive much help outside of her dad in the research and development phase, Kievman, CEO of Hiccupops, will now have plenty of assistance from UConn's Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Graduate students from the center have been assigned until the end of the summer to help bring her product to market. Currently, they're in search of a manufacturer.
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Outside of ensuring that the idea is profitable enough to be sustainable, Kievman hopes her efforts can help those suffering from serious conditions. For instance, hiccups are a common side effect of patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“It always has been really appealing to me to be able to sort of have a product out there that can help people,” she said. “I want to become a doctor and go into medicine.”
(via NY Times, TechCocktail)
Government Photo: Connecticut Senate Democrats
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May 7, 2012
There are school boards out there that figure that if she were their student, the invention would be their property-outright. Fair? "Simple Hiccup Remedy" You obviously never ran into one of those who have suffered weeks or years of hiccups....
Take a deep breath...hold it a few seconds...now swallow that same breath of air. If it did not work the first time, you probably did not swallow the air completely. You swallow the air like you would swallow food or water. It will always work. It is simple: When they scare you, sometimes you take in air.... when you drink water non stop you take in air... and when you hold your breath you sometimes swallow the air with out realizing it. That is why sometimes these techniques actually work. I am now 38, I figured this technique out as a teen. I've worked with kids for over 20 years and it has never failed. One or two tries and they are gone. share this
is to give the victum, er sufferer, a half glass of water and get them to drink it, in 5-7 swallows, while placing your fingers in their ears. The trick is to insert a finger just large enough to fill the entance to the canal so that when they swallow you can feel the changing size of the canal. The snug fit actually restricts some of the movements in the canal and relieves the nerves that are causing the hiccups. A finger too large doesn't get in deep enough and too small of a finger doesn't restrict the movement enough.
I ALWAYS HOLD MY BREATH FOR 15 SECONDS WHILE PINCHING MY NOSE AND PLACING FINGERS IN MY EARS WORKS THE BEST FOR ME. PLACE YOUR INDEX FINGERS IN YOUR EARS, USE YOUR THUMBS TO COVER YOUR NOSE AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND HOLD IT IN FOR 15 SECONDS AND THAT SHOULD CLEAR THE HICCUPS. IF IT DOES NOT WORK THE 1ST TIME TRY IT AGAIN. IT WORKS ALL THE TIME FOR ME.
However, I have found that taking several slow, deep breaths, and then holding your breath (including holding your nose) works every time, and it's what I taught my children. This is similar to the other remedies listed above.
Just dissolve a teaspoon of sugar slowly in your mouth, and swallow a tiny bit at a time. This always worked for me.
Breath all your air out and hold it out while you swallow 3 times. Never met anyone this didn't work on. Some people need to to use a drink to kelp them swallow 3 times. Figured this simple cure out 30 years ago and it works every time. JD
I would always tell people to breathe all of their air out and hold it. Then, just when you think you can't hold it any longer, push a little more air out and hold it as long as you can. Always works.