You are here: MCEI | Teaching | Master | KANCHA



KANCHA is a young Startup which offers functional lifestyle accessories from natural felt and leather “handmade in Kyrgyzstan”. Its products include sleeves for notebooks, tablets, e-books and smartphones which are made by hand under fair conditions in the mountains of central asia. Every sleeve comes with a handwritten name tag, allowing you to learn more about the person and the manufacturing process behind your product. Thereby KANCHA connects the nomadic tradition with mobile metropolitans and supports the economic development of Kyrgyzstan.

The Startup was founded in Berlin by the urban nomads Tobias Gerhard and Sebastian Gluschak and is currently raising funds via crowdfunding. The two founders want to show that business and development can be combined without neglecting social and environmental aspects. It is the founders aim to show that behind globalization – and behind every product – there are people. Therefore, KANCHA is focusing on a transparent business approach which has a social and sustainable orientation.

Sebastian, one of the two founders, will be Coach for Social Entrepreneurship at the MCEI this semester and will therefore hold a guest lectures on September 26, 2013.

Since entrepreneurship is about creating value, the Startup does not only want to generate value for its direct clients but for all people involved in KANCHA – in particular in its production country Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, KANCHA’s manufacturers receive an appropriate income and thereby secure their (and often their families’) livelihood. Furthermore, social and environmental standards are strictly observed along the value chain: KANCHA ensures safe working conditions, a maximum 40-hour week, informs workers about their rights, avoids toxic chemicals and aims for other ecological advancements. Moreover, the Startup contributes to providing health insurance and the realization of opportunities: with every product a premium goes into community fund that can be used to cover health costs and provide microcredits to the manufactures. Finally, a significant part of the profits (once realized) will go into the Startup’s own foundation that supports structural change in Kyrgyzstan. 

Find out more about KANCHA by visiting

Invest in Kancha via the startnext platform on

Related items


  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum