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.”