Jozef Gluszyk had overcome many challenges in his life—emigrating from Poland, learning a new language and culture, and tenaciously working his way into a career with an engineering company that served the petrochemical industry. But in 1998, he faced a difficult decision with few easy answers.
Gluszyk’s employer had not followed through on an eight-year-old promise to reward his many contributions with an ownership stake in the company. Starting his own business was a possibility, but money was scarce. Gluszyk also faced a number of potential legal hurdles regarding patent ownership.
“I needed sound advice about my options, but time and money were running out,” he recalls. “My lawyer recommended that I contact SCORE, as they offered business mentoring and other services for no charge.”
Unable to resolve issues with his employer, Gluszyk decided his only recourse was to walk away and start anew. He located some willing investors and, in 2000, started US GlobeTech. The company would combine Gluszyk’s experience in the energy business, and his knowledge of Polish and Russian to market equipment to Eastern Europe’s emerging energy-sector markets.
Gluszyk also envisioned US GlobeTech as a parent company for other ventures, one of which was based on his work with the measurement of industrial liquids. He had developed an idea for a SONAR-based transducer capable of measuring the interface of disparate liquids in various energy and chemical processes. However, his idea was based on some of the work done for his former employer.
“The patents were in my name, but the company was the actual owner,” Gluszyk explains. “I had to be sure there would be no legal complications if I proceed with my idea for the next generation in technology.”
SCORE referred Gluszyk to a patent lawyer who determined that there would be no conflict with the existing patents. That led to the formation of Transducer USA in 2001. Since then, Gluszyk has worked with several major companies to evaluate test units, and recently received industry-wide certification for his product. He’s now working to pursue sales with major oil companies while also developing other products driven by environmental needs.
Gluszyk’s matched with volunteer mentor Howard Hurst. “Howard and other mentors helped me evaluate my options and, more importantly, understand the potential pitfalls associated with each one,” Gluszyk says. “They also provided other resources to help me make informed decisions.”
Although Hurst has since retired from his involvement with SCORE, Gluszyk keeps in touch with his former mentor and the other small business experts who helped him turn a workplace dilemma into two promising enterprises.
“I greatly appreciate everything SCORE did for me,” he says. “They are a great resource for people who need advice. Perhaps in the future, I will be able to join SCORE and provide guidance to a new generation of entrepreneurs.”