Brighter Planet, Founded in Vermont, Sees Brighter Future in Bay Area

It’s another win for the Bay Area’s formidable social networking cluster. Brighter Planet, a provider of online and offline products that aim to help people and businesses reduce their carbon footprints, is downsizing its Vermont offices and expanding in San Francisco, company CEO Pattie Prairie says.

The startup, which was formed by students and a faculty member at Vermont’s prestigious Middlebury College in 2006, is moving out of its headquarters in Middlebury, VT, at the expiration of its office lease this month, Prairie says. The CEO and the company controller plan to stay in the Green Mountain state in a smaller office just south of Burlington, but more and more employees, many of whom are Middlebury College alumni, are moving to the firm’s San Francisco office. News about the firm’s move to San Francisco first appeared late last month in Middlebury’s Addison County Independent newspaper.

Brighter Planet has found that California has a more fertile business landscape than Vermont’s rolling green hills. The firm, which launched a social Web app for the environmentally conscious set last year, is following in the footsteps of other social Web firms—most notably Facebook and Twitter—that are based in the Golden State. California is also one of the most progressive states in taking measures to combat climate change, enacting some of the strictest rules in the U.S. on minimum gas mileage for automobiles and carbon dioxide emissions.

While living “green” in Vermont is more the norm than a lifestyle choice, it almost goes without saying that the small state cannot compete with the scale of sustainability-oriented business activity in California. For Brighter Planet, having a base of operations in San Francisco also brings it closer to a large number of potential customers. according to Prairie. The company started out by supporting Brighter Planet-branded Bank of America … Next Page »

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