Disrupt the Bay raises money for pediatric cancer research

Disrupt the Bay’s healthcare, technology, and biotechnology conference, which raises funds for pediatric cancer research, will bring top players in the industries together for an online program from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 4.

Featuring top healthcare systems from across the country, the event gathers startups, venture capitalists, and angel investors. Stan Liberatore, who chairs the Disrupt the Bay board, describes it as a “who’s who of healthcare, tech and biotech.”

The program, which includes a mental health awareness segment moderated by Neuronetics’ Business Development Manager Alexander Kile, goes beyond the typical Zoom meeting by using augmented reality.

“The platform is designed to give people an immersive networking experience and also enhance engagement,” explains Liberatore, founder and CEO of Vsummits, the platform being used for the conference.

This is the fourth year for the event, the third year under the name Disrupt the Bay, a not-for-profit raising funds for accelerating pediatric research of childhood cancers ATRT and neuroblastoma. It supports those efforts through Beat Childhood Cancer and Hope 4 ATRT

ATRT involves a tumor that starts in the brain or spinal chord, called Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor. Neuroblastoma is a tumor that grows in immature nerve tissue, usually in an infant or young child.

General admission for the virtual event costs $35. To register, visit Disrupt the Bay. The in-person, VIP party at the Cardone Estate in Tierra Verde is sold out.

A Tampa native, Liberatore built the organization from the ground up to disrupt the healthcare industry and the status quo for pediatric cancer treatment.

“The conference really has only a fraction to do with pediatric cancer,” he says. “We just wanted somewhere for all this money to go to a good cause.”

Doing business as Save the Kids Foundation, Disrupt the Bay keeps costs down by using donated services, leaving more revenue to accelerate clinical trials and to help families with pediatric cancer.

“Nobody from this board makes any money from this,” says Liberatore, president of No Limit Technology, a tech staffing firm operating in Tampa and Miami.

The agenda includes a panel discussion on “Moving the Needle with Big Pharma, FDA and Cancer Research, with Marielena Matta, senior director and diagnostic lead at Pfizer; Dr. Kosj Yamoah, associate professor of radiation oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute; and Dr. Giselle Shollar, director of The Isabella Santos Foundation Rare and Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s Hospital. Also included are “Digital Innovations in Cancer Treatment” and “Women in Tech: Startups, Sharks, and Public Servants.”

Liberatore expects about 300 to attend the conference. The non-profit already has raised some $70,000 this year; he is setting a goal of at least $100,000.

“That’s me being extremely reserved. I think we could definitely outdo that this year,” he adds.

Disrupt the Bay has been recruiting startups for its Fast Pitch competition, with a $10,000 prize, for the last few months.

“We had so many startups this year that are interested. They literally get two to three minutes,” he adds.
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Cheryl Rogers is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing about careers. An ebook author, she also writes Bible Camp Mystery series that shares her faith. She is publisher of New Christian Books Online Magazine and founder of the Mentor Me Career Network, a free online community, offering career consulting, coaching and career information. Now a wife and mother, Cheryl discovered her love of writing as a child when she became enthralled with Nancy Drew mysteries. She earned her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Sociology from Loyola University in New Orleans. While working at Loyola's Personnel Office, she discovered her passion for helping others find jobs. A Miami native, Cheryl moved to the Temple Terrace area in 1985 to work for the former Tampa Tribune