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Focal Labs

Focused on startups, Developing disruptive products, Talented people

The Story

About Us

Focal Labs is passionate about startups, and we can help you with yours.

Established in 2013 by Marcus Callon and Ben Fogarty, Focal Labs is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small startups develop, launch and talk to investors about new products by combining the right approach, proven models and extensive experience.

We are the founders of Shorthand.com, the first digital publishing platform of its kind to be used by some of the biggest and the best publishers around the world. We've developed numerous products and successfully taken them to market. With our investment partners, we've helped startups position to raise millions in fundings.

Ben Fogarty

Founder / CEO / Commercial

Entrepreneur with over 10 years experience developing and growing digital publishing, media products and startup businesses in the UK and internationally. Ben has a proven track record in commercialising enterprise tech and taking new digital products to global brands. Ben has completed a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Entrepreneurial Management. Ben is based in London, UK.


Marcus Callon

Founder / Product Manager

Has spent the last 15 years developing, leading and building successful software teams and projects. Marcus has extensive Delivery Manager and Solution Architect experience working for a range of start-ups, SME and large enterprises. Marcus is passionate about working closely with commercial teams in order to shape a product's vision and validating its value to real users. Marcus is currently based in Brisbane, Australia.


Marcus and Ben co-founded, built the team and managed Shorthand.com - an enterprise digital publishing tool - taking the startup from concept to international commercialisation, that now boasts a client list of UK's leading media and publishing outlets, from the BBC, the Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, Hearst Magazines and Trinity Mirror, as well as organisations throughout Europe, Australia and the US.


Marcus and Ben also co-founded and launched Immersive (now "Shorthand Social") - an innovative publishing platform for journalists and freelance storytellers.

Our Approach

We believe in the lean startup principles of development. Our motto is build, measure, learn. Every "good idea" is a hypothesis waiting to be tested, an assumption needing to be validated.

How We Can Help

Our service

We help entrepreneurs, startups and small teams grow from concept to commercialisation.

Take advantage of our insight and experience

Product Development

Envision product concepts, test assumptions and validate product value through accelerated development from prototype stage to minimum viable product and beyond. We can put a product teams in place, or work with the one you have.

Prove Market Fit

Through our established relationships we will engage new markets to road test your product with some of the world's biggest brands. We're experienced at establishing passionate early adopters to help commercially validate your business.

Get Investor Ready

Position your startup for investment. Having raised millions in funding, we understand the investor mindset and can help you define and prepare your business strategy, pitch decks and investor materials. Through our vast international investor network, we can get you in front of investors, faster.

Eric Ries

"Building the right product requires systematically and relentlessly testing that vision to discover which elements of it are brilliant, and which are crazy."