Start Up Nation Announces My Plate-Mate Creators Among Their “Leading Moms in Business”

Start Up Nation Competition Recognizes America’s Top 200 Mom Owned Business and the Women Who Run Them.

Danville, CA, May 10, 2009 --( HATCH announced today that Co-Founders, Paige Akabane and Michele Wong, have been recognized as one of the top 200 mom-owned businesses in StartupNation’s 2009 Leading Moms In Business Competition ( The competition, sponsored by VerticalResponse, recognizes the achievements of mothers across the country who run outstanding businesses.

HATCH is a product development company whose goal is to create quality goods with an emphasis on independence and assisted learning. My Plate-Mate is the first product released to the retail market designed to promote independent self feeding at meal time while minimizing the mess that comes with it. Akabane and Wong successfully launched a children’s line to the retail market in 2008. It was well received by parents of toddlers here in the US. More recently My Plate-Mate for Kids has expanded distribution to locations in Canada, UK and Australia. HATCH also has a second line of My Plate-Mate to help elders and those with special needs. This line fits larger sized plates and comes in neutral colors to preserve the dignity of the user. Interest has come from a diverse customer base, which includes nursing homes, associations for the blind, adult disabled, and parents of children with special needs.

"Moms across America were honored in this year’s ranking, showing that they’re capable of starting and running successful businesses while managing to balance family, career, home and self," said Rich Sloan, co-founder of StartupNation."Well over 600,000 votes were cast in support of several thousand contestants. What an incredible achievement to be named a winner, and what an inspiration for anyone looking to start their own business.”

"It’s challenging for anyone to start and run a successful business – particularly in this economy. These women are setting the standard for innovation and creativity," said Janine Popick, founder and CEO of VerticalResponse.

StartupNation ( launched the first annual Leading Moms in Business Competition in January with the support of VerticalResponse ( to recognize the achievements of mom entrepreneurs across the US. Winners were selected and ranked according to public votes accumulated from January through March, 2009.

For information on product releases, photos, samples, and packaging:
Michele Wong or Paige Akabane
Phone: (925) 272-0745 email:

Michele Wong