Innovative Start Up Company Lighting the Way to Sesame Street
Imaginative toys spark fun for children, hope for families affected by autism
STARKVILLE, MS - What began as a college senior project has led to an innovative startup company partnering with Sesame Workshop to light up lives through creativity, technology and philanthropy. Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street.
Glo, based in Starkville, Miss., recently inked a licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop to market Glo Pals, an imaginative toy that brightens play and bath time for children, particularly those with autism. As the Gold Award winner in the 2020 Mom’s Choice Awards, the toy is already a hit among a growing market of young parents interested in inspiring sensory play.
Hagan Walker and Anna Barker were budding entrepreneurs in Mississippi State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach when they hit on an innovative technology that generated light when mixed with liquid. They leveraged the discovery to create colorful cubes that, when dropped in liquid, light up in bright party colors.
Customer feedback from an appreciative mom, who used the cubes to create a soothing and happy environment for bath time for her autistic child, led the innovators to repurpose the cube technology into the popular Glo Pals that inspire imaginative learning and sensory play.
This April, in celebration of National Autism Awareness Month, two new friends will join the Glo Pals family – Julia, a Muppet with autism, and Elmo, everyone’s favorite furry monster. Sesame Workshop’s “See Amazing in All Children” autism initiative offers families free tools and tips to manage common challenges, simplify activities and build a community of support.
“The idea that we could base our business on helping brighten the lives of young families, including those affected by autism, is inspirational to us,” said Barker, Glo’s vice president of business development. “We want to do more than just build a successful company — we want to help make our community and our world a better place.”
Glo Pals already account for 90% of Glo’s rocketing sales. As part of the company’s business imperative to improve their communities, Glo contributes a portion of profits to the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, a part of Children’s of Mississippi in Jackson, Miss.
“We at Sesame Workshop are very excited to be partnering with Glo, an inspiring young company whose mission to make a difference aligns with Sesame Street’s longtime history of helping all children open their minds to learning through fun and inspiration,” said Gabriela Arenas, Sesame Workshop’s Vice President of Licensing, North America.
The partnership to add Julia and Elmo to the popular Glo Pals line shines a spotlight on another Mississippi entrepreneur, Jim Henson, creator of the original Muppets.
“It’s true that the famous Muppets were ‘born’ right here in Mississippi, just like Glo,” said Walker, Glo’s chief executive officer. “We are proud to continue the tradition of learning and fun Mississippian Jim Henson began when he created the original Muppets decades ago.”
Based in Starkville, Miss., Glo designs and manufactures products that spark imagination by intersecting light, liquid and learning. Since inception in 2015, the company has sold more than 3 million products to customers in nearly 40 countries. Learn more about Glo Pals here; reach out to Glo here and follow the fun on social media @glopals.
Sesame Workshop is a community built on diversity, equity and inclusion, where creators, educators, partners and unforgettable characters come together on a mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Learn more about Sesame Workshop here. Find more about the organization’s autism initiative here. Follow on social media @SesameWorkshop.