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40 Under 40: Kerem Baran, Boomset

Kerem Baran, 31, works in New York City as CEO of Boomset. As a 2017 40 Under 40 honoree, Baran discusses his passion for the events industry.

*Connect with Baran on Twitter and Instagram. What I do: As a startup founder there is no hat I haven’t worn, from software engineer and sales developer to marketing executive and customer success representative. I love to be hands-on with every department by stepping up to challenges with each team in place of stepping on toes. I encourage balance throughout the entire company, and I strive to maintain balance when it comes to support and taking action. How I got here: We didn’t realize it was our lucky night when a friend and I were waiting in a long line at an event back in 2009. Who knew we would come up with a revolutionary startup idea out of boredom in that slow-moving queue?! After that night, two friends decided to quit their jobs and digitalize the then pen-and-paper (and somewhat static) events industry. My greatest career accomplishment: I am proud that I run a multinational startup established in offices on three continents with 20 beating hearts who act, think, communicate and work like everyone is in the same office and time zone. Impressive stats: I started our official sales operations in 2014, and we have doubled our revenue every year since. We bootstrapped Boomset with our own savings, raised our first friends and family seed round and became profitable with no additional investments. We have cut down the waiting time from three hours to 25 minutes for the biggest video conference in the United States, which attracts 30,000 people every year. A specific improvement I’ve made for a client: When Redken hired us, they had 200-plus workshops per day at their yearly symposium. Every attendee was handed 15 (or more) vouchers for the workshops they picked to attend. If an attendee wanted their schedule, they had to go to the exchange area, leave a voucher in a specific bucket and pick another voucher from another workshop bucket. We converted this whole process to digital. Upon entering the event, people are now handed a single QR code that’s coded with their weekend conference schedule. If they want to change their schedule, they can check real-time attendance from airportlike status screens we built, and then go to an iPad to pull up their schedule and make changes. What I’m working on: This year is all about sustainability and security. Printing on-demand as opposed to preprinting saves 30 percent of unused badges on its own. We started working on a reusable NFC wristband technology to bring this 30 percent to 100 percent sustainability. What I do outside of work: Music has been my passion since I was a child and I play numerous instruments such as the piano, percussion and strings. My next goal is woodwinds. Learning new languages has also been a fun hobby for me and I am currently learning Dutch for my wife and her family. I am also active in the startup community and mentor individuals who want to become entrepreneurs or current entrepreneurs who want to make a debut in the U.S. startup scene. Five phrases that identify me: Passionate; emotional; animal lover; newlywed; workaholic