Patron Interview - Vidor Kis-Márton, CEO of Continest

In the newest installment of our Patron Interview series, we sat down with Vidor Kiss-Márton, CEO of Continest Hungary to talk about the rise of the company, innovation and the future of mobile solutions.

Vidor Kis-Márton Continest

Journal: Continest was established in 2019. Today, your solutions are present in more than a dozen countries and you have recently opened a new production hall. Tell us more about the Continest origin story.

Vidor Kis-Márton: Roughly 3 years ago we established Continest as an innovation-focused engineering startup with the idea of bringing an innovative and sustainable solution to the events industry, festivals, and  sporting events. As more and more industries and sectors started to prioritize sustainability we felt that Continest is destined for more because right after the start our foldable and modular containers generated big interest in the market. It was interesting – but not surprising – to experience that the customers were interested in sustainability but not willing to spend more for it. This meant that we had to be commercially competitive and deliver a complex solution at the same time. Once we had a strong foot-hold in the international event market, we decided to grow in two other strategic directions: defense and healthcare. We are talking pre-COVID19 and pre-Russian invasion of Ukraine. When the pandemic started we already had a platform that we could deliver together with our local partners. Same for Ukraine.

Continest today is no longer a promising startup. We evolved into a container based technological integrator who successfully delivered products and projects to events like Sziget Fesztivál and Glastonbury, Mobile Hospital for WHO in Africa and has  products sold to NATO members. Besides this we are patented in the US, China, Japan and several other markets. From a proper garage story we are now on the way to global presence (South America being the last white spot, probably not for long).

Journal: What makes your foldable container special compared to the competition?

VK-M: The first step is to define our competition. I believe that in many instances our competition is the comfort zone of decision makers. The good news for us is that the last 3 years has pushed the whole world out of its comfort zone and generated a unique boom for us. The “cherry on top” is the current fuel price.

Our key specs answer all the relevant questions: mobility, scalability, reduced logistical and operational costs, and last but not least sustainability. Due to our patented hinge we fold and unfold our 10’ and 20’ ISO standard container in matter of minutes. By doing this we save space and cost both during shipment as well as storage.

On top of this we can adapt to almost any request. Our containers were already used as on site accommodation, guest rooms, box office, back office, race control, IBC, ER, Police Station, sample collection, lab and vaccination facility, plus for all the other special projects such as military shooting range, vertical farm or shelter for refugees.

Vidor Kis Márton Continest


Journal: Last year you opened your medical division, Contimed, partially in response to the growing need for patient rooms, testing and vaccination sites amid the COVID-19 crisis. What have you learned since about mobile solutions in healthcare and humanitarian aid, and what further plans do you have for Contimed?

VK-M: In 2020 we delivered 12 mobile sample collection and lab units to major UK airport, in 2021 a 12 bed ER facility for WHO in Uganda in partnership with the Hungarian MoFA, in 2022 4 fully operational labs to Israel (by air) to our local partner.  

We have been asked what will happen to Contimed after COVID. First of all – unfortunately – COVID will stay for some time with us, but more importantly decision makers understood the need of scalable, relocatable infrastructure solutions. During the pandemic the global response provided all the worst case scenarios you can imagine but in the meantime we saw some signs of forward thinking as well (eg. in Israel).

Journal: Storage, medical, defense, sanitary solutions, events, sports, temporary accommodation – you can provide a solution for all and more. What are other potential industries where you can expand?

VK-M: The next big thing for us (and the world) is definitely the CN Cargo container. This solution is very similar to our standard units: it folds in a similar way, and generates 80% reduction during empty storage or relocation. Witnessing the fuel costs, port and terminal congestions and the trailer shortages globally there is no question about the urgent need for our solution.

Journal: Innovation and sustainability have been key drivers for Continest since the beginning. Tell us more about this. What is the next phase of innovation for you?

VK-M: Being innovative is part of our way of being, but it’s also a must. Being an industrial start up you don’t have years to get yourself known, even if you are patented. Speed and high added value will keep you alive. Currently our R&D pipeline is very solid, and we are focusing on strengthening our operations: opening Factory 2 (and potential Factory 3 for the CN Cargo), optimizing our use of resources and preparing technological transfers globally.

Journal: What do you value most about your membership in AmCham?

VK-M: Networking. It gives us access to global market leaders and the Government, plus a very important connection point to the US interest in Hungary. As an executive, I am constant contact with several organizations who provide similar services but AmCham Hungary is definitely Top 3 in this. I am very much looking forward to our new partnership, this time as patrons.