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Hiccaway

hiccawayDr. Ali Seifi, Amanda Azarpour, and Victor Feldberg introduce the Sharks and the world to Hiccaway, Dr. Seifi’s invention that’s a cure for the hiccups, in Shark Tank episode 1305. Seifi is the director of the Neuro-ICU and an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. Apparently, he’s also an inventor. He first got the idea for Hiccaway 20 years ago while working as an anesthesiologist when he noticed patients often got the hiccups in the recovery room and it could be problematic for some post surgery. He wanted to solve the problem.

Hiccups are “sudden, involuntary spasms of the diaphragm” that cause the Epiglottis to close, creating the familiar hiccup sound. There are no real medications for hiccups and there are many “home remedies” that work with varying success. What the product is is an “L” shaped straw. At the bottom of the straw are two pinholes on opposite sides. The pinholes make it hard to suck in the water creates negative pressure in the chest causing the diaphragm to pull down. Your brain wants to swallow the water, so it closes the epiglottis to prevent the water from going into your lungs. This triggers the phrenic nerve in the diaphragm and the vagus nerve in the epiglottis at the same time which cures the hiccups.

He got things started with a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised in May, 2020. The Hiccaways started shipping in July, 2020. His residency students actually coined the name of the product! It’s safe for people age one and up, so just about anybody can use it. They’re readily available on Amazon for $14. You can also find them at Wal Mart and HEB Organics stores. The good Doctor likely wants a Shark’s help with manufacturing and sales as he’s pretty busy being a neurologist.

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Hicc Away – Cure for the Hiccups

Hiccaway Shark Tank Recap

Dr. Seifi, Amanda and Victor enter the Shark Tank seeking $250,000 for 10% of their business. They demonstrate how the “home remedies” don’t work, then they demonstrate the Hiccaway. Mark wants to know how effective it is and Dr. Seifi says they did a study published in JAMA that proved 90% effectiveness. Daymond has a bad hiccup problem and wants to know how it works. The doctor explains how it works with a visual aid.

They show a video testimonial onstage and the Sharks are impressed. Kevin says why he can’t duplicate it with a straw and the doctor explains how the special pressure level makes it work. Next, he explains his medical background. Dr. Seifi and Victor are 50-50 partners and Amanda – Seifi’s niece – works on commission as the head of marketing. They cost 7o cents to make, wholesale price is $6 and they sell retail at $14. They’ve sold 21,000 units which equates to $300,000 in sales.

Barbara says she can’t see having it readily available in her home, she’s out. Kevin thinks it’s a tough sell to convince people it works. Lori isn’t sure there’s a need, she’s out. Mark loves it because they have the science to back it up. He thinks it will be part of everyone’s medicine cabinet. He offers $250,000 for 20%. Kevin says he’ll do it for 15%. They huddle up and ask Mark if he’ll go to 15%, he says no. They counter with 18% and Mark says no. Ultimately, they take Mark’s deal at 20%.

Hiccaway Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. The first re-run of this episode in June, 2022, is just five months after the original air date. At this time, there is no evidence that the deal with Mark closed.  The product is available internationally on Amazon, in Wal Mart and HEB stores in the USA and in retailers in Spain, Australia, Germany and China. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.

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