The Costa Rican Software Corridor: Startup Develops Expansion Plans for Latin America

by: Michael Metzger

Publication Date: August 10, 2020
Length: pages
Product ID#: 1-369-193

Core Disciplines: Information - Technology & Management, Marketing/Sales, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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In the 1990s, San José, Costa Rica, was beginning to emerge as a Latin American hot spot for the information technology sector. SPS Software, a small startup in San José, played an important part in the history of this sector and the development of the software industry in this region. By the end of 1995, SPS co-founders Claudio Pinto and Jorge Sequeira were considering developing a marketing strategy and expansion plan to leverage a probable infusion of venture capital, the first for a technology company in Central America.

This case explores the rapid growth of the software industry in Costa Rica including the competitive landscape and unique infrastructure and financing challenges for Central American startups. Students will follow SPS Software as it navigates these challenges and then develop a marketing and expansion plan for the company to present to a venture capital fund.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Describe the information technology landscape in Central America in the 1990s, as well as the primary challenges for software startup firms.
  • Describe how a startup with little financing could leverage collaborators, SPS Software’s alliance with KPMG, to provide a foundation for growth.
  • Identify the major competitors of SPS Software, including their products and target markets.
  • Construct a marketing and geographic expansion plan for SPS Software that includes country/market rationale and the KPMG alliance.