Winners Announced for K is for Kids’ 3rd Annual Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Competition

Gabriella Manuszak, a senior student at Barron Collier High School, won first place at the 3rd annual Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Competition.

The YES Comp, as it is popularly called, was held on Saturday, April 30th at Barron Collier High School. The event is held in conjunction with K is for Kids’ annual Top Leaders Reception which recognizes the foundation’s top performing students and interns.

Yes Comp (Square)

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Young Entrepreneur 2016: Gabriella Manuszak

YES Comp 1st Place winner, Gabriella Manuszak, with Judges

YES Comp first place winner, Gabriella Manuszak, shown at center, with founder Karen Clawson and judges, l-r, Gene Landrum PhD, author and the creator of the Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment; Tiffany McQuaid, of McQuaid & Company Real Estate Services and McQuaid Marketing & Promotions; and Ed Larsen, President of Sales Synergies LLC.

YES Comp First Place: MediSleeve

Gabriella Manuszak is a senior at Barron Collier High School* and a rising freshman of the University of Florida. In Gabriella’s winning presentation of MediSleeve, a company she plans to register as a public charity, she described her product as a sleeve made from antimicrobial and recycled materials used to protect the PICC line users and keep them free from germs, bacteria, and infections. Her well organized and professional presentation was clearly considered “Best in Class” by the judges and earned her first place honors in the YES Competition. Gabriella was awarded a $1,000 scholarship.


First place winner, Gabriella Manuszak, presents MediSleeve at the 3rd Annual YES Comp 2016.

“Gabriella, aka MediSleeve, did an impressive job of addressing the rubric clearly, identifying a problem and offering a solution while explaining the TAM/SAM, revenue growth projections and the associated capital requirements.”              

– Judge Ed Larsen, President, Sales Synergies LLC

“…for a kid her age to be even thinking about a nonprofit is remarkable.”  

— Judge Gene Landrum, PhD, author, creator of Chuck E. Cheese


YES Comp Second Place: Gamers Tank

The second place winner included a team of young men from Lorenzo Walker Technical High School. Shown from left to right, Daniel Diaz, Matthew Koenig,  and Jose Bautisa, introduced a creative way to reconnect young adults by presenting the opportunity for gamers to socialize and connect in friendly competition. The Gamers Tank received a $500 scholarship.

YES Comp Gameres Tank

Second place winner, Gamers Tank. L-R: Daniel Diaz, Matthew Koenig, and Jose Bautisa, at the 3rd Annual YES Comp 2016.

Fresh from placing third in a recent competition, Gamers Tank was the first to “pitch” their business idea  and launched the YES Comp with a bold, professional, and confident presentation.  Judges were drawn to the team’s entrepreneurial concept.

“Gamers Tank could indeed become a “game changer” in the community and marketplace — it is an exciting, relevant and meaningful enterprise that may not only successfully engage its target audience but serve them well.”

— Founder Karen Clawson

YES Comp Third Place: Fire Survivor

Third place went to Aracely Aguilera, a junior at Lorenzo Walker Technical High School, for her idea of a revolutionary app called “Fire Survivor” that informs users on everything there is to know on how to stay safe from fires. This included reminders, exit routes, medical help, and other cool features. This was Aracely’s first competition and she won a $250 award.

Aricely Aguilera of Fire Survivor at the YES Comp by Karen Clawson

Third place winner, Aracely Aguilera, a junior at Lorenzo Walker Technical High School, introduces the Fire Survivor app at the 3rd Annual YES Comp 2016.

The judges admired Aracely’s passion and presentation noting that if she is able to address start-up and funding issues integral to any young start-up, she will be tough competitor to beat next year.

YES Comp Fourth Place: Katnyssa Productions

Fourth place winner, Daylin Baez, a senior student at Lorenzo Walker Technical College and High School, presents her filmmaking business proposal for Katnyssa Video Productions. The company would implement high quality videos that clients can use on any form of media. (Note: Daylin announced the company may soon be renamed Dream Weavings Productions.) Daylin was awarded $125.

YES COMP katnyssa Productions

Fourth place winner, Daylin Baez presents her, high quality videography, Katnyssa Productions at the 3rd Annual YES Comp 2016.

This is Daylin’s second year entering the YES Comp.  Vision and a passion for filmmaking continue to be Daylin’s strongest points — assets that the judges believe will help drive her business’ development and success. Judges recommend Daylin create an in-depth strategic and marketing plan to help reach her customer base.

YES Comp “Most Innovative”:

MediSleeve & Gamers Tank

Gabriella and the Gamers Tank tied for the “Most Innovative” category, winning them both an additional $125 each.

Yes Comp Gabby and Gamers Tank

The first and second place winners tied for the “Most innovative” category. Here they pose with Karen Clawson, second from left, and the three judges, l-r, Gene Landrum PhD, Tiffany McQuaid, and Ed Larsen.


Meet The Judges

2016 YES Comp Founder Karen Clawson with Judges - lr Gene Landrum PhD - Karen Clawson - Tiffany McQuaid - Ed Larsen by Belvin Dalton -CROP

The judges with Karen D. Clawson, K is for Kids founder and executive director, l-r: Gene Landrum PhD., Tiffany McQuaid, and Ed Larsen.

Gene Landrum with Chuck E. Cheese Screen Shot 2016-05-07Dr. Gene Landrum is a high-tech start-up executive turned educator and writer. As a businessman, he started five entrepreneurial ventures and took three to $100M in sales in two years – the most famous being Chuck E. Cheese.

Dr. Gene originated the Chuck E. Cheese concept of family entertainment. After years of interacting with creative and overachieving personalities he decided to document the inner workings of what made them tick and did his doctoral dissertation on the Jungian Psychology of Success. Dr. Gene lectures extensively on the vagaries of eminence and teaches MBA’s at the Hodges University graduate school in SW, Florida.

 Here is how Gene introduced himself to the YES competitors: “Hi, I’m Dr. Gene the creator of the Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment. One funny story is about my mom, as our mom’s often don’t get it when we are creative.  When my mom came to Chuck E. Cheese, I had a kid in the Chuck costume take her a drink…then I walked over, sat down and asked, “Mom, I created this. What do you think?” She looked at me and said, “Honey, when are going to get a real job?”

Another funny story is when I was pitching Holiday Inn’s CEO on the Chuck concept and he looked at me and said, “Gene, we spend a lot of time, money and energy feeding our customers and you are having a rat deliver your customers a pizza. Can’t do that dude!”  I told him I did and we were doing 3X the revenues of other pizza stores at 25% pre-tax profits.

A manager once came to me and said, “Gene, the little kids are peeing in the ball crawl. Get that stupid thing out of here.” Irony, is they were only there because a kid could be a kid and hang in the ball crawl.

I have many other crazy stories about parents driving many miles and passing numerous pizza joints to get [their kids] to a Chuck E. Cheese – showing we were not in the pizza biz, but in the fun-entertainment biz!

See more about Gene here:


McQuaid & Company Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 3.49.23 PMTiffany McQuaid is President of McQuaid & Company Real Estate Services and McQuaid Marketing & Promotions.

During one-on-one consultations with YES Comp finalists, Tiffany often urges them to follow their passion and to always be unique in what they offer.

Some of Tiffany’s favorite quotes are:

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice!”  — William Jennings Bryan

“To be successful, be excellent. If you want the best the world has to offer, then offer the world your best!”  — Oprah

“It takes a lot of courage to be creative, once you have a new idea you are a minority of one!”  — Dr. E. Paul Torrance

Read more about Tiffany here: and



Sales Synergies Screen Shot 2016-05-07Ed Larsen is President of Sales Synergies, LLC (SSLLC).

SSLLC specializes in the design, manufacture and assembly of plastic and metal fabricated products across diverse commercial, industrial and consumer segments ranging from building & construction, hardware, home improvement, sporting goods, toys to recreational and leisure products.

The company has local offices and staff in China.

Ed squeezes in time between his frequent trips overseas to China to mentor students at Barron Collier High School who are enrolled in the Incubator program offered by Collier County Public Schools.

You can learn more about Ed here:


About the Young Entrepreneur Scholarship Competition

Yes Comp (Square)

The YES Competition, open to Collier County high school juniors and seniors, was conceived and launched in 2014 by K is for Kids’ founder and executive director Karen Clawson as an initiative to help foster students’ innovation and community involvement.

Competitors have the opportunity to apply their skills, and ideas, to the business of helping others through K is for Kids mission of building readers and leaders.

“The YES Comp is a ‘working’ example of our student leaders’ motto ‘Climb higher. Help others.’ and offers competitors hands-on experience in taking an idea to the next level.” — Karen D. Clawson, Founder & Executive Director of K is for Kids Foundation

Contestants enter their small business plan summaries for an opportunity to earn scholarship monies — $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, $250 for third, $125 for fourth place, and $125 for most innovative (the latter two awards were introduced this year) — that will help support their entrepreneurial passion.

“The Y.E.S. Competition offers students in the idea and/or startup phase of their business the opportunity to research, develop and clearly articulate the critical elements that will compel K is for Kids Foundation (and others) to invest in their business, i.e. to award them a scholarship. In essence, competitors create a blueprint and present it. The judges assess the viability of the idea, product and/or service as well as its current and potential impact.”

— Vin Izzi, President of Izzi Business Consulting (IBC); Judge of the YES Comp 2015

This is the third year that students from Barron Collier High School have been named K is for Kids’ Young Entrepreneur and that students from Lorenzo Walker Technical High School have earned the the competition’s top awards.


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