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These selected Indian entrepreneurs got a surprise, met Apple CEO Tim Cook


They didn’t even know there were meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had a meeting with founders of four startups on the first leg of his India trip on Wednesday, as he looked to understand what the country’s young mobile app developers are building. Cook met executives of home services application UrbanClap , software products maker Cynapse (also known as Numerics), online shopping application Sweetcouch andAvaz , which has developed speech therapy app for autistic children.

The four startups were selected by the team at Apple about a week ago, but were not informed that they will be meeting Cook. They were briefed that they will meeting a team from Cupertino, the city in California where Apple is headquartered, as part of a developer meeting in the coming week.

Those present at the meeting included Raghav Chandra, co-founder of UrbanClap; Sweetcouch founder Rajesh Chokhani; Cynapse founder Apurva Roy Choudhury and Ajit Narayanan, founder of Chennai-based Invention Labs, which runs Avaz.

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Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams and Oliver Schusser, vicepresident of iTunes International, were the other executives who were present at the meeting.

The meeting took place after Apple announced the launch of a “design and development” startup accelerator in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru. Cook said in a statement earlier in the day that the new accelerator facility would help iOS developers create innovative apps for the company’s customers globally and that the new facility would provide resources to support entrepreneurs.

Cook walked in soon after the meeting started, shook hands with all the founders and was mostly listening in a meeting that lasted for about an hour at Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai. “It was more him getting comfortable on what is happening in India and understanding the tech startup ecosystem here,” said one of the people present at the meeting.

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All the four startups gave a demo of their iOS mobile applications to Cook, who was full of questions and even insights about the applications.

“He had questions and feedback as well for the team. Cook was impressed by the way Sweetcouch is doing their in app messaging feature,” said Chokhani of Sweetcouch. The app has ‘Chit-Chat’ feature that allows users to browse through products and converse with friends without leaving the platform or taking screenshots.

UrbanClap’s Chandra also confirmed meeting with Cook, saying Cook asked specific questions about the services’ marketing platform and depth of integration with professionals. UrbanClap provides services like home beauty treatment, booking Yoga classes and tutors, and hiring plumbers and carpenters through its application.

“I wasn’t expecting to meet him and it was great. He was very humble, very enthusiastic and very casual,” said Chandra.

 News Source: ET Bureau.

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