Maverick Software Consulting provides software consulting from mankato, Minnesota at prices that meet or beat Chinese and Indian software companies. How do they do it? Robert Cringley explains:

This isn’t rocket science. The students are testing software, recording bugs, and doing middleware development mainly for a single client – Thomson Reuters. Reuters, in turn, has gone on to hire as full time employees more than 90 percent of the Maverick student consultants as they graduate.

Each consultant works approximately 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week in the summer making $10-13 per hour. That amounts to an average 3000-hour tryout over two years for the would-be Reuters programmers. No wonder the company hires so many of them, because with that much exposure Reuters truly knows what it is getting.

Maverick isn’t hugely profitable but it is profitable… and has been since its first week of operation. Required capital has been minimal. Turnover is minimal, too, because these are often the best-paying student jobs on campus.

It’s a model Maverick hopes it can bootstrap across the nation, eventually having an office at every school with 150 or more CS majors, generating with a single manager nearly $1 million in annual revenue per office.

That‘s several hundred potential offices and a lot of pizza.