Disrupt the Bay raises money for pediatric cancer research

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

Featuring top healthcare systems from across the country, the event gathers startups, venture capitalists and angel investors. Stan Liberatore, chairman of 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 provide people with an immersive networking experience and also increase engagement,” explains Liberatore, founder and CEO of Vsummits, the platform used for the conference.

This is the event’s fourth year, its third under the name Disrupt the Bay, a nonprofit raising money to accelerate pediatric research into childhood cancer, ATRT and neuroblastoma. It supports those efforts through Beat Childhood Cancer and Hope 4 ATRT.

ATRT involves a tumor that begins in the brain or spinal cord, 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 is $35. Go to Disrupt the Bay to register. The personal VIP party at the Cardone Estate in Tierra Verde is sold out.

Born in Tampa, Liberatore built the organization from the ground up to disrupt the health care system and the status quo for childhood cancer treatment.

“The conference actually has only a fraction to do with childhood cancer,” he says. “We just wanted somewhere where all this money would go to charity.”

Disrupt the Bay does business like Save the Kids Foundation and keeps costs down by leveraging donated services, leaving more revenue to accelerate clinical trials and help families with childhood cancer.

“Nobody on this board is making any money off this,” said Liberatore, president of No Limit Technology, a technical personnel firm that operates 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’s 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 Officials.”

Liberatore expects about 300 attendees at the conference. The nonprofit has already raised about $70,000 this year; he sets a goal of at least $100,000.

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

Disrupt the Bay has spent the past few months recruiting startups for its Fast Pitch competition, which is prized at $10,000.

“We had so many startups this year that are interested. They literally get two to three minutes,” he adds.

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