Reflections on a fabulous year from Biscuit Tin Founder, Sheila Hogan

Biscuit Tin - ASB Business of the Year 2022

As we close out 2022, I wanted to take time to pause and reflect as this year has been one to remember, for Biscuit Tin and for me personally.

Against a backdrop of challenges for people throughout the world, I feel extremely fortunate that bringing to life my vision of creating a solution to simplify and improve the closure of every life has felt like a dream come true many times during this past year.

Of course there have been downs as well as ups, that’s business generally and building a tech start-up specifically. However, at this time of year, I firmly believe that it’s a time for gratitude, so I wanted to share with you some of the things that Biscuit Tin has achieved during 2022 that I feel particularly grateful for.

Dragons’ Den

We kicked off the year by preparing to appear on BBC Dragons’ Den. The process for getting in front of the Dragons is a lengthy one – a whole year from the first approach in February 2021 to the episode being aired in February 2022. The process involves an application, video pitch and several interviews with a researcher who then presents the application to the executive team. At each stage you are never certain whether you will get through to the next. Just getting to the day of filming and having the opportunity to be on the show felt like an enormous achievement and the experience was just incredible..

My goal was to increase awareness and generate heightened interest in Biscuit Tin … and heightened it was! Our appearance was covered by multiple media outlets and visitors landed on our website and signed up to Biscuit Tin in their droves.

A Successful Investment Round

Despite Deborah Meaden’s interest and praise for Biscuit Tin, we didn’t secure investment from a Dragon, however …
Our television appearance was swiftly followed by us being able to publicly announce our successful investment round, having secured £330,000 of backing from Velocity Capital, Scottish Enterprise and a private investor to accelerate the growth of Biscuit Tin. They understand the financial profiles of tech startups and saw the potential of Biscuit Tin.

No sooner had we drawn breath from that investment round than I was honoured to have been selected as part of the cohort of Scotland’s top twenty high growth potential tech companies travelling to Silicon Valley with StartUp Grind. Funded by the Scottish Tech Ecosystem Fund, this trip brought together Scotland’s top 20 with more than 3,000 of the world’s best at the StartUp Grind Global Conference.

Building our Biscuit Tin Tribe

Throughout the year we have expanded the Biscuit Tin Team and welcomed on board some fabulous leaders and expert advisors which will take us forward from start-up to scale-up and strength to strength. It feels like a really special “Biscuit Tin tribe” is coming together.

Each individual has exceptional experience in their field and collectively are already having a huge impact on the direction and growth of Biscuit Tin. I personally thank every single one of them for their incredible and unique contribution and support.

As well as new team members, we have formed many new external partnerships this year. Scottish Building Society came on board in June and Paul Denton and the Scottish Building Society Team have become such great Biscuit Tin advocates. At the start of November, following many months of discussion, Age Partnership the UK’s no. 1 equity release advisory firm was announced as our largest partner to date in the press. Age Partnership Chief Executive Steve Auckland was quoted as saying “Equity release as a product allows people to take control of their later life finances, it is about enriching people’s lives when they need it most; so, this partnership with Biscuit Tin has perfect synergy.”

Awards, Awards, and more Awards!

At the start of 2022, I never dreamt we could be honoured with so many accolades!

In November we were awarded Business of the Year by the Association of Scottish Businesswomen, and recognised as a finalist in two categories at the Business Women Scotland Awards, Start Up of the Year and Rising Star.

We were also one of 12 companies chosen from across Scotland to compete in UK-wide TechNation Rising Stars 5.0!

Rounding off the year (almost!), I was shortlisted from over 5,300 business leaders as a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, within the Start-Up Founder of the Year category. The whole team made the trip to the glittering award ceremony in London and oh, what a night it was! Despite not walking away with the award, we celebrated what has been an amazing year for Biscuit Tin … and we’re not done yet!

Our most recent achievement has been to be ranked number three in TechRound’s top 100 Tech companies of 2022 (the highest ranking Scottish company). TechRound is where decision-makers, investors and startups of all sizes come to find out the latest developments and trends within the industry.

The TechRound 100 is the year’s flagship event, highlighting the hard work and success of UK startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs. With more than 3,000 applications this year, we were absolutely delighted that the judges picked Biscuit Tin as #3 with one judge saying “I chose Biscuit Tin because death is a conversation that people avoid. People even avoid thinking about it. Digitising this process makes it more accessible to all and something to make people think about what they are doing now to leave a good memory behind them.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

An exciting start to 2023

Rounding off the year and as we head into 2023, we are also hugely excited to have been selected to be part of the new Techscaler programme with Codebase as well as Google’s ‘Start-up’ Programme and we can’t wait for the launch of our Biscuit Tin Podcast “Love, loss and memories” and monthly group sessions “Tea and Biscuits” where we work through creating our Biscuit Tin together.

Our Vision

Our vision is to make Biscuit Tin a global household brand in digital legacy within the next five years, in a world where planning for end of life is the norm, and where we all have virtual Biscuit Tins containing our life information and wishes, digital biographies and messages to our loved ones to hand down the generations. We are passionate about our mission to transform the way we do (or don’t) manage end of life planning and life closedown by empowering and enabling everyone to plan in advance and create a digital legacy to be proud of! We will continue working hard every year to make this happen.

We see a world where everyone has a digital Biscuit Tin, we hope you can see that too.
A heartfelt “Thank you” for all your continued support this year and wishing you and yours all the very best for a healthy, happy and organised 2023.

Sheila and all the Biscuit Tin Team