A 13-Year-Old Enlists M.B.A. Students to Build Her Start-Up

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, May 3, 2012

To silence her stubborn hiccups during the summer of 2010, Mallory Kievman tried swallowing saltwater, making herself gag, eating a spoonful of sugar, sipping pickle juice and drinking a glass of water upside-down.

Nearly two years and 100 attempted folk remedies later, the 13-year-old is preparing to lead a team of M.B.A. students from the University of Connecticut in building a company that can bring her invention — Hiccupops, or hiccup-stopping lollipops — to market this summer.

“It’s very rare, when you’re evaluating businesses, that you can envision a company or product being around 100 years from now,” said Danny Briere, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Startup Connecticut, which nurtures new companies, including Hiccupops, and is a regional affiliate of the Startup America Partnership. “Hiccupops is one of those things. It solves a very simple, basic need.”

Mallory met Mr. Briere last spring at the Connecticut Invention Convention, an annual competition for kids. “I went there, and I knew it would either be a hit or a miss project,” she said. “People would either like it, or they would think I was crazy.”

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