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Innovator

By Beau Denton Photography by Alex Stafford February 29, 2012

Blake Fuller, Founder, Braille BatteryStarting this month, every car in every 2012 IndyCar race will be powered by a lithium battery designed by Sarasota’s Braille Battery. Blake Fuller, a part-time professional racer, company founder, says the reason is simple: His batteries are lighter and more efficient. Fuller initially developed the battery for his own racecar and began selling to consumers in 2006.

“We have quickly become a dominant player in motor sports and other markets,” says Fuller.

Braille also sells batteries for consumer and utility vehicles, golf carts, wheelchairs, computers and, soon, surgical power tools that will allow hospitals to dispose of batteries without worrying about hazardous waste. Braille batteries are available at more than 400 retailers nationwide, and a contract with a new distributor will soon grow that number. Fuller plans to double his staff of 20 in the next year. About his transition from competitive racing to business, Fuller says, “As a driver, you can only win a championship in one car. But as a product manager with a team of associates and engineers, we can do that for thousands of cars.” Fuller would like to see other high-tech manufacturers here.

“Sarasota’s known for fine arts and great food, but we want Sarasota to be known for tech innovation and clean technology,” he says.

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