Stan Liberatore's Unlikely Path From Combat Sports to Tech Philanthropy

Stan Liberatore's Unlikely Path From Combat Sports to Tech Philanthropy

Entrepreneur, founder, CEO, philanthropist.

MMA fighter. Master P fan.

Talk about wearing many hats (and occasionally, gloves). When it comes to Stan Liberatore, each time you peel back one layer, something more intriguing emerges beneath it.

But beyond Liberatore's impressive list of credentials lies a man on a mission to find the intersection between human compassion and emerging technologies.

Liberatore is the founder and CEO of No Limit Technology, a boutique technology and recruitment firm. The name is a tribute to one of his first childhood rap albums purchased In 1998, produced by Master P.

As a fan of Master P's iconic success in the music industry and struggles from 1991 to 1996 with No Limit Records and No Limit Studios, he wanted to carry on the legacy of doing things with infinite potential and grit.

"We do a lot of cyber security, a lot of cloud security, DevOps security," Liberatore explains.

"That's predominantly our wheelhouse."

"But I really want to carry on the legacy of doing things with unlimited potential."

It wouldn't be true to who Stan Liberatore is at his core without some other human-centric component to the operation.

"We also do real recruitment. We get a requirement, we spec it out, and we legitimately headhunt. I call it sniper recruiting."

In other words, Liberatore's boutique technology and recruitment firm with a bit of a punch.

Pun intended.

"I've done combat sports my whole life, and I was a wrestler growing up," Liberatore explains as he recalls his days in the ring.

He even spent time on the D1 men's wrestling team for Nebraska.

"I grew up doing karate and wrestling, and later on, I started kickboxing, and I put 'em all together and after Covid. I was getting kind of heavy around the, you know, the back area, and my wife would make fun of my dad bod. So that kind of encouraged me to get back into the gym."

Liberatore has since tangled with black belt jiu-jitsu practitioners and pro fighters. He's even cracked a few opponents' ribs along the way (accidentally, of course).

"My first fight was a title fight against some guy that's actually pro now. I didn't even know what I was doing, and I lost. But, you know, I've had a few fights since, and I'm really focused on my business at this point and making sure that my business is scalable."

Unfortunately, the demanding lifestyle of an MMA fighter didn't give Liberatore the freedom he needed to find balance in his life.

"It's a lot of discipline, eating right. Training twice a day, and then it's just kind of hard to focus on other things and balance all those things. Between work, kids, wife, and fighting, you know what I mean? It's a lot."

Although he's hung up the MMA gloves for now, make no mistake—Liberatore still spars for fun at the gym occasionally, so his martial arts skills won't get rusty any time soon.

Of course, the discipline and endurance he gained from his martial arts training don't disappear when he steps off the ring. Instead, the influence of his training shapes nearly every aspect of his life, including his approach to relationships, success, and leadership.

"In the gym, I'm not much of a leader. I'm just trying to follow my coach's lead. But I think that takes a lot of leadership in itself; it takes a leadership mindset to be coachable."

"When people get to certain stages of their lives and are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, a lot of them get set in their ways, you know?"

Liberatore believes that success is not just about the amount of liquid in the bank but also about remaining open to professional, spiritual, and emotional evolution.

"It's about developing "a keen sense of right and wrong."

Between sharpshooting talent and technology that helps companies make #AnImpactThatMatters, Liberatore is making an impact as Chairman of the Board for Save the Kids, which supports a variety of children's causes, including food insecurity, mental health support for children impacted by parental suicide, and the Children's Cancer Institute.

"We've got a golf tournament coming up for Save The Kids in September, so that's gonna be fun."

In turn, Save The Kids founded the health innovation conference Disrupt The Bay, "a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to connecting leading disruptors in healthcare today for the benefit of our children's tomorrow."

The conference, which has been making waves since its inception five years ago, invites some of the world's leading founders, investors, and disruptors in the healthcare space to Tampa and St. Petersburg.

"We really want to change traditional healthcare and the way that we've been doing things. The healthcare community space, it is a business. And I think that means there can be lots of innovation."

Disrupt The Bay offers a startup pitch competition called Tampa Tank, which allows five innovative healthcare startups to pitch their ideas to experienced investors.

The startups are selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants who apply each year.

The program has only grown more dynamic since it began, and its impact is set to expand further with the confirmed addition of new board members (yet to be publicly revealed, but sure to garner excitement).

With plans already underway for the next Disrupt the Bay event in 2024, it's clear that the program has become more than just an event—it's well on its way to fueling a movement toward revolutionizing healthcare in Tampa Bay and beyond.

Liberatore's passion for the cause of children's healthcare is rooted in his personal experiences, including the loss of a friend's brother and then the loss of a dear friend's little girl to childhood cancer.

These tragic events inspired him to take action and engage his community as a steward for children's causes.

According to the American Childhood Cancer Association, thousands of children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer every year, with an estimated 15,780 new cases annually. Sadly, this means that 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will receive a cancer diagnosis before their 20th birthday.

"I had a few people that were affected [by childhood cancer], and as a leader early on, I knew that I needed to engage my community as a steward. You gotta give back as you go. Otherwise, what are we really doing here?"

Amidst his accomplishments in founding and leading businesses and philanthropies, Liberatore's commitment to his role as a devoted husband, father, and Christian is as unshakeable as his dedication to his community mission.

Moreover, he proudly wears his spirituality on his sleeve—quite literally—with a striking tattoo of Jesus Christ displayed prominently on his forearm.

"I'm down with J.C.," he affirms.

For Liberatore, faith is more than just a personal belief system—it's something bigger that's helped find purpose and inner peace.

"I used to drink. I guess I used to have a problem. I don't guess, I know I used to have a problem with drinking, and if anyone that knows me in Tampa really knows me, they know that. I can go out and have a good time, I already am just full of energy, so it's not like I need any substances in order to get a party going. But I don't have a drop of alcohol, ever."

"In fact, I haven't had any alcohol or any mind-altering substance in 17 years. And that's by the grace of God."

As someone who has faced his share of personal challenges, Liberatore attributes his spirituality to saving his life, and he intends to use that life to do as much good as he can with the time he's been given.

"I feel like I'm lucky to be alive. That came with a lot of—I guess I would call them spiritual awakenings over the last almost 20 years now. I just feel that God has always been there, and I'm a big believer in giving back to his kids. And as long as I'm taking care of his kids, I think he'll take care of me. That's kind of why I love the business that I’m in, too, because I'm in the relationship business. You have to have relationships with everybody, even your enemy or your competitor. Because at the end of the day, if you can't have relationships with the people that God puts in your life, I don't know how you're gonna have a relationship with God."

Liberatore's mission for taking care of the people God has put in his life is largely why he's expressed a desire to eventually transition out of business services altogether. Instead, he hopes to devote himself to philanthropic endeavors full-time.

"I found more joy in doing [philanthropy] than in making money. So, my goal down the line is to essentially get out of services at some point, within probably the next three to five years."

Not exactly what you’d expect the average CEO to aspire toward, but that’s the beauty of Liberatore’s story. Yes, he’s driven, he’s ambitious, but unlike so many leaders in business, that isn’t where his story ends.

Beneath the outer layers of accolades and success, Liberatore’s inner core is one of passion, determination, and a deep desire to make a positive impact in the world. He’s demonstrated time and again his commitment to excellence, innovation, and compassion, truly making him one of Tampa’s finest.

If you're interested in learning more about Disrupt The Bay and how you can support health innovation for the benefit of children everywhere, visit Disrupt The Bay's website.

For more information about the Save The Kids Charity Golf Tournament, which raises money to fight and research pediatric cancer, click here.