By Michael Pollick
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Entrepreneur Jesse Biter took his vision for a
more vibrant and affordable downtown
Sarasota to this master planned, city in the
His Thursday breakfast speech went over well,
even considering the receptive crowd — about
130 members of the Lakewood Ranch Business
Alliance, most of whom depend at least in part
on the continued success of the 33,000 acre
Biter, who sold a $2.5 million amonth automotive sales software system to Auto
Trader Group in 2010, lives a long way from Lakewood Ranch, in a downtown
condominium tower. He works in the city’s core, too, in a four story former bank
building he renovated in 2012, now known as the HuB Building.
He readily admits that much of his world is anchored in five city blocks.
That real estate aside, Biter’s other passion — besides the auto supply business
Dealers United he has started — is to draw more young professionals downtown
and make Sarasota more of a yearround community.
That means supplanting the area’s past reliance on rich snowbirds and tourists with
workers who are upwardly mobile professionals and businesses that are tomorrow
“I want us to be the Silicon Valley of the East Coast,” Biter said. “Technology is the
best business to have in Sarasota. It doesn’t pollute. It attracts generally nice
Biter’s speech was one of a twiceyearly “Breakfast of Champions” the group holds.
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