A brand new year means renewed opportunities to learn something new, do something bold or make a change. For those among us looking to make 2017 the best year yet, there are plenty of local tech companies that can help us get there. Here are nine startups that can help us accomplish our New Year's resolutions.
Resolution: Get in shape
One of the more common New Year's resolutions is getting in shape, and it's easy to see why. Summer is a brief six months away, so there's no time to waste working on your washboard abs. Santa Monica-based Beachbody offers a multitude of programs designed to make exercising as fun and effective as possible.
Now that you have your grand vacation plans made, a problem reveals itself in the form of a 45 pound pitbull mix named Ernie. That's right, you forgot to make plans for your dog. While no one in your immediate family is willing to take on the little terror (which you might characterize as "spunk"), this is the technology age, and LA has the answer. DogVacay connects pet owners with responsible sitters so you can take you take your trip to British Columbia without having to worry about Ernie's well-being (or whether or not he bit a family member).
After a long day at the office, getting in a workout doesn't sound nearly as good as grabbing some In-N-Out and binge-watching the new season of The Man in the High Castle, but transforming your body means sacrifice. For those of us who need a little added excuse to get some cardio in, Zwift has you covered. The company develops a game that allows users to gamify their bike riding experience, all from the comfort of your own home.
Fitness classes are great because they take attendees out of their comfort zone and show teach them about the wonderful world of fitness. Fitspot doesn't just connect consumers with fitness instructors to help them on their way to getting jacked, it also acts as a corporate tool, matching fitness instructors with small and medium sized businesses to bring the (fitness) party to the office.
Resolution: Get mentally fit
In today's fast-paced society, finding some time to reflect on life and make sure your mind is in the right spot is hard. Elm won't help your calves or glutes, but it will put you in the right place — mentally — where you feel comfortable and confident to achieve whatever it is you set your sights on. Through a collection of inspirational content and advice, Elm makes managing stress easy.
Resolution: Travel more
If you're anything like me, the main obstacle standing in the way of a week-long vacation to somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Canada is simple: cash. For the avid traveler operating on a budget, however, there's Wherefor. The Santa Monica-based startup offers users an itinerary based on timing and cost, meaning your staycation can become a week of sightseeing in some of the Great White North's finest hockey arenas (or, you know, going to Paris or something).
Resolution: Become financially savvy
All the freelancers out there live with the mostly rational fear that they're not saving enough from each paycheck to send back to The Man come tax season. Thankfully, Levee makes that easy. By connecting to your bank account and utilizing the friendly swiping system, Levee helps users differentiate personal from professional costs, helping employees know just what they can be writing-off come tax season and even helping you qualify for different tax brackets (translation: pay less).
Saving money in such an expensive city is hard, and sometimes, taking the power out of the individual's hands ends up benefitting all parties. No, Acorns doesn't steal your money, it does something much, much more beneficial. For each purchase a user makes, the app rounds up to the nearest dollar and deposits the funds into a mutual fund managed by professionals. Users designate what they plan to save the cash for at the beginning, which helps dictate just how aggressive the financial plan is. Call it investment by force, but Acorns works. Just ask PayPal.
Resolution: Enjoy life (more)
In the startup ecosystem, the only time where work isn't getting done is when you're sleeping. This, of course, isn't particularly healthy, but sacrifices have to be made. Finding a balance between work and pleasure, however, is key to maintaining a level of productivity needed to achieve success. Launched back in October in private beta, Joymode acts as a matchmaker for people looking to have a good time and the tools they need to make that into a reality. Whether it be a cotton candy machine, go karts or an outdoor movie system, Joymode helps users enjoy the experience, and not have to worry about the cleanup and storage.
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