10 Total Game-Changers to Watch in 2018

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The people, products and startups to pop on your radar.

Every year, a new crop of entrepreneurs, companies and influencers rises to the top, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. At first, you merely hear their names in passing, but before you know it, they are everywhere. If you love staying ahead of the curve, keep reading to discover the rising stars and fresh faces to watch out for in 2018 – and make sure to keep your friends in the loop.

1. Anchor FM

It’s no big secret that podcasts are having a major moment. But how easy is it to make your own podcast? Thanks to New York-based startup Anchor FM, the answer is: easier than ever. Anchor FM gives users the ability to record voices on their smartphones; add sound bites and music clips; then stream your recording using a variety of mediums. Anchor FM bills itself as Instagram Stories for audio, and if that’s the case, you can expect it to be mighty popular going forward. anchor.fm

2. Allbirds

San Francisco-based sneaker startup Allbirds has received $27.5 million in funding to date. In slightly more than two years. With just two products – the Runner and the Lounger – to their name. Want to know what all the fuss is about? It all comes down to the materials. Allbirds shoes are made from superfine merino wool that has been sustainably sourced from New Zealand. The company claims their shoes are the most comfortable you’ll ever wear, and if you don’t agree after 30 days, you can return them for a full refund. au.allbirds.com

3. Away

If you love to travel – and who doesn’t? – you need to jump on the Away bandwagon ASAP. Away makes luggage “for the modern traveller.” That means every piece is lightweight, with an unbreakable shell and forward-thinking features such as built-in USB chargers. Better yet, Away’s luggage comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100-day trial period. With all these perks, expect to hear a lot about Away in the future. awaytravel.com

4. Brooklinen

You know that feeling you get when you crawl into a hotel bed and nestle into the soft sheets? Brooklinen is helping customers to replicate that feeling without breaking their budgets. The brand uses a direct-to-consumer model to offer the lowest prices possible to customers. And the cherry on top? Brooklinen ships internationally. In 2018, this disruptive bedding company is sure to be on everyone’s lips. brooklinen.com

5. Girls’ Night In

If making plans fills you with anxiety and cancelling plans feels oh-so-satisfying, Girls’ Night In is a brand-new newsletter made just for you. Every Friday morning, Girls’ Night In issues a fun, easy-to-read newsletter packed with self-care tips, interesting interviews, excellent reads, new podcast recommendations and more. The aim is simple: to help you enjoy your night in and give yourself some much-needed downtime. Launched early in 2017, the newsletter is on the up and up, with more than 20,000 subscribers and counting. girlsnightinclub.com

6. Houseparty

Gen Z has a knack for knowing what’s next. So, if you want to know what’s next, you need to follow the trail. Right now, Houseparty is where it’s at. Houseparty is a new social-networking app that offers live video chatting, in groups. No matter where you are, you can log into a “room” with up to eight friends and virtually hang out. You can even be part of multiple “parties” at once. houseparty.com

7. Jasmine Garnsworthy

Jasmine Garnsworthy is an Australian-born, New York-based influencer who is racking up thousands of likes on Instagram thanks to her easy, breezy aesthetic and enviable lifestyle. It also doesn’t hurt that she writes smart lifestyle-based content for sites such as Byrdie Beauty and Sporteluxe or that she’s just launched a customisable beauty brand called The Buff. itsthebuff.com

8. Ruby Karp

American writer and comedian Ruby Karp has written for sites such as Mashable and Hello Giggles and worked with Chris Gethard, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. She does stand-up comedy every month in New York. She’s also just released her first book, Earth Hates Me. And she’s just seventeen. Which means in the coming years, as she starts college and strives for a role on Saturday Night Live (her dream), you’re bound to hear about her.

9. Transfer Travel

If you’ve ever booked a flight or hotel, only to discover you need to cancel, you’ll want to know about Transfer Travel. The company allows you to sell pre-booked travel tickets and bookings to buyers from around the world. The peer-to-peer travel site is just getting started, but it has already raised more than €1 million in two rounds of funding, so it’s on the up and up. transfertravel.com

10. Transit

Figuring out the public transport options in a new city is tricky. But that’s where the Transit app can help. Transit offers real-time travel planning data in more than 125 cities worldwide. It covers every aspect of transport, from buses and subway trains to ride-share and bike-share services. Plus, Transit’s simplified layout makes travelling in a new city easy for even the most unsavvy of users. Grab this app now, as Transit will be moving into more and more cities in the year to come. transitapp.com

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