Where Is HiccAway Hiccup Straw From Shark Tank Season 13 Today?

In January of 2022, Dr. Ali Seifi, Amanda Azarpour, and Victor Feldberg played out a scenario in front of the "Shark Tank" judges that many of us have found ourselves in before. "Sharks, are you ever in an important meeting in front of pretty important people and all of a sudden..." Rather than finish the sentence, Azarpour quickly put a hand to her chest and inhaled sharply to simulate the sound of a hiccup (via YouTube).

A bout of embarrassing hiccups can quickly derail any important meeting. Even worse, the entrepreneurs explained, old-fashioned tricks like balancing on one foot or having a person try and scare you often prove fruitless. That's where the HiccAway Hiccup Straw steps in. Dr. Seifi demonstrated by handing Azarpour what appeared to be an oversized straw. He explained that when using the device to sip on a glass of water, it generates enough pressure to relieve the muscle spasms in the diaphragm responsible for one's hiccups. Together, the entrepreneurs were seeking a $250,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity.

What happened to HiccAway Hiccup Straw on Shark Tank?

Dr. Seifi, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Neurological Intensive Care Unit at the University of Texas Health Science Center, developed the idea for HiccAway after seeing firsthand how the hiccups caused head-trauma patients physical discomfort throughout their healing and recovery process (via HiccAway). When asked about the efficacy of the product, Dr. Seifi told the Sharks that questionnaire research published in JAMA Network Open in 2021 revealed HiccAway to have a 90% effectiveness rate among users (via YouTube). Additionally, no negative side effects were reported.

Daymond John shared that he had experienced severe episodes of the hiccups himself. However, he wasn't clear on how the product actually worked. With the help of a visual diagram, Dr. Seifi explained how hiccups develop in the body. He stated that the length, diameter, and design of the HiccAway valve work together to generate a certain amount of pressure to physically pull the diaphragm down for an average of five to 10 seconds, which disrupts the pattern of communication between the spasming diaphragm, brain, and throat to stop one's hiccups. While some of the Sharks bowed out right away, the entrepreneurs ultimately walked away with their requested $250,000 investment from Mark Cuban but for a 20% stake in the company.

Life for HiccAway after Shark Tank

The premiere of HiccAway's "Shark Tank" episode immediately resulted in more sales for the company. Soon after the airing, the entrepreneurs posted a photo on Instagram stating in the caption, "It's been a week since our Shark Tank episode aired & we are overjoyed with all the love & support! Thank you for ALL your purchases & for supporting our business!" 

HiccAway also continued to promote its product publicly. In February 2022, Amanda Azarpour and Dr. Ali Seifi appeared on an episode of business strategist Joe Pardo's podcast where they discussed their time on the show in detail. A month later, Dr. Seifi spoke to Dr. Mandira Mehra on the Human Condition M.D. podcast about how HiccAway has improved the lives of users.

It wasn't long before HiccAway had more good news to share with consumers. They announced on social media in May 2022 that a new product would be coming soon. A few days later, they launched the HiccAway Family Pack of four devices available in a variety of bright colors. Consumers responded favorably to the straw's new and improved appearance — so much so that the company expanded the new color options to their single-pack product.

Is HiccAway still in business?

HiccAway continues to be in business today. Their products can be purchased on Amazon, Walmart.com, or on their website at $13.42 for a single pack, $34.99 for a family pack of four, or just $0.99 for the HiccAway HiClip designed for easy storage (via HiccAway). The patent-approved device is also now available for online purchase in the U.K. HiccAway BPA-free straws can be used by anyone of any age and may be particularly beneficial for those with diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, cancer, individuals who drink alcohol, or people recovering from a surgical procedure, all of whom can be more susceptible to the hiccups, the company states.

The dishwasher-safe device has accumulated nearly 11,000 followers on Instagram where the company regularly posts updates, educational infographics, and reels featuring satisfied customers. Just last month, Matthew McConaughey appeared on the "Today" show where he was asked to guess what the device was used for after pulling it out of a mystery brown paper bag. The actor was partially correct, guessing that it was a straw specifically designed for young kids.

While on "Shark Tank," Amanda Azarpour had explained that she was HiccAway's head of marketing but had expressed interest in owning equity in the company someday. Since then, it appears Amanda has achieved that goal. According to LinkedIn, she is currently listed as HiccAway's head of marketing as well as a co-founder.

What's next for HiccAway

Earlier this year, Dr. Seifi announced plans to expand on the existing research regarding HiccAway's effectiveness (via San Antonio Express-News). In the previously mentioned 2021 study, the device yielded a 92% success rate in stopping participants' hiccups and was reported to be preferred over other forms of self-treatment. However, the study did have its limitations. With only 249 questionnaire responses, the study sample was relatively small and made up of mostly white participants. Furthermore, although participant ages ranged from 1 to 90 years old, the majority were over the age of 18 with an average age of about 40 years old. 

Some experts suggest that while the device may offer some potential benefits, no definitive claims can be made based on the study alone due to potential participant bias, a lack of data regarding what kinds of home remedies the individuals used, and the fact that no control group was implemented for reference (via Healthline). The new randomized clinical trial to be conducted by UT Health will incorporate a nationwide control group for comparison, which may help lend more validity to HiccAway's claims of being an effective means of combating a bout of hiccups.