Kerem Koca is the co-founder and managing director of Bluenet Technologies. Bluenet offers digital transformation, business intelligence and data analytics solutions for its global client base. Founded in 2004 in Tampa Bay, Bluenet’s current headcount is 200 with offices in Chicago, Buffalo, India and Turkey.
In 1988, having never touched a computer before, Kerem secured a place in the prestigious Computer Engineering Program at Bogazici University, beating out 1.8 million others to be one of the 300 students to win a place.
At 25 years old, after completing his first year at Deloitte Canada, the seed of the idea to build his own company had been planted. When Kerem became a father to his son, Ege (Aegean in Turkish), and having grown up near the beautiful waters of the Aegean Sea, Tampa Bay felt like a little piece of home. In February 2004, he left the gloomy scenes of the North and headed for the clear blue skies of Tampa, Florida, which provided the inspiration for the name of his company, Bluenet.
The next seven years were enough to establish Bluenet as a world-class information technology powerhouse serving multinational organizations all around the world. His belief that small teams of highly skilled people are the most powerful force for change in the world has always driven the way he does business.
Kerem, a huge foodie with a passion to see the world, took seven years off, which he describes as “the best thing he has ever done.” In this time, Kerem visited most of the three-star Michelin restaurants around the world with his beautiful fiancé, Divna. He was a key part of Ichicoro, Tampa’s first authentic ramen-ya. In 2018 and 2019, Ichicoro Ane was included in the top 10 restaurants in the Tampa Bay Times, and Kerem turned it to a late night house music venue to host international award winning DJs like Erick Morillo. Kerem impressively ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days. He also enjoyed yoga retreats from Copenhagen to Costa Rica and completed the 200 hours of Ashtanga yoga teacher training. This was an incredibly rewarding experience and Kerem came back feeling 10 years younger, ready to conquer the world with boatloads of energy.
Today, technology is the main way customers interact with businesses. The average customer now is far more likely to use a mobile app than go into a brick and mortar location. This means the technology teams are one of the most important components of any business. This, paired with the travel limitations of COVID, motivated Kerem to return back to the 14-hour working days to expand the customer reach of Bluenet from new Fortune 500 companies to Silicon Valley startups.