Meet the current frontrunner for $580K coffee with Tim Cook
The current high bidder for a coffee meeting with Apple's CEO is doing it to bring attention to his startup.
Josh LowensohnFormer Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Entrepreneur Rakesh Kumar says he's "blown away" by the deluge of phone calls and traffic his site's getting after he pledged to plunk down more than half a million dollars for a half-hour coffee meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
"The Web site's gotten an incredible spike," Kumar told CNET in a phone interview on Friday.
Kumar, whose company DrBluetooth is working on a Bluetooth headset that encrypts voice and can be controlled through gestures, is the latest in a string of more than 80 people who have bid on a chance to meet with Cook at Apple's campus. The "power meeting" is part of a campaign to raise money for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Kumar and company's headset, called the Karma, needs fundraising to get off the ground, and the group hopes a meeting with Apple, or even just bidding on that meeting, will get it there.
"The angle is to bring the product to market. We are limited with a shoestring budget. So any kind of engagement, or relationship that could bring the product to life is welcome," Kumar said. "I don't think Apple has invested in any company, but you never know, you know?"
Kumar added that he's not sure if this is the company's last bid toward that effort, though he played coy when asked just how much higher he was willing to go.
"I don't know if this is the last one," he said. "I convinced my friends, saying this is our golden shot to showcase our product."
The meeting, which is blessed with Cook and Apple's approval, was originally worth $50,000, but has shot up faster than any of the other auctions. Some of the other "auction experiences" include celebrities like Robin Williams, Jay Leno, Ryan Seacrest, and Alec Baldwin, along with Tesla founder Elon Musk.