Meet Hugo Cannon, the visionary behind Velloy and seasoned venture capitalist, as he shares insights from his diverse entrepreneurial journey, from starting an eco-friendly search engine at twelve to shaping the face of modern venture building.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
Entrepreneurship has always been at my core. At the age of twelve, I created the world’s first eco-friendly search engine eSearch. The idea at the time was that CRT monitor’s did not use energy to illuminate black pixels, so if Google used a dark colour scheme it would save countless kilowatts of energy.
Later on, I embarked on a new chapter as a venture capitalist at Fuel Ventures, renowned as one of London’s most active seed funds. It was an invaluable starting point in my career to be surrounded by such amazing founders and I’m immensely thankful for the opportunities it afforded me.
After stepping back from my venture-backed vitamin company in 2020, Feel Vitamins, I found myself on a journey to discover my next venture. It didn’t take long for me to notice that friends were turning to me for advice, suggestions, and connections, and this organic demand eventually evolved into a new business opportunity and while my experience as a VC taught me a lot, it only fueled my desire to dive back into the entrepreneurial hustle even more.
This all led me to my current venture, Velloy – a members-only card providing premium member-only benefits and offers, access to exclusive experiences and curated dining recommendations.
Velloy began because of a shared desire to live life to the fullest. It stemmed from my personal longing to stay in the know about all the exciting happenings and make the most of every moment, and I believed there were others who shared this sentiment. London then opened up a world of fresh experiences – from thrilling launch parties and movie premieres to exciting pop-up events and the constant stream of new restaurant openings week after week.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
My current routine involves rigorous training for a marathon, which means I’m doing more running than my usual routine. My day typically kicks off with an 8-mile run at the moment, as I’m training for a marathon at the moment. This is then either followed by a high-protein breakfast or intermittent fasting, depending on how my body is feeling.
Then, it’s straight into work. I review my daily tasks and objectives, pinpointing ‘the one thing’ that demands the utmost attention for the day. Personally, I prefer tackling this main task earlier in the morning, and then creating time for calls and meetings in the afternoon.
Then after work, it depends on the day but I’ll either be out trying out the best food London has to offer, attending events, or just relaxing with friends and family when my schedule is clear.
Sleep holds a special place in my daily routine – I’ve been tracking my sleep patterns for over seven years using an app, as I have noticed its significant impact on my overall productivity.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
The phrase “work-life flywheel” comes to mind, which states that the better your life is, the better you’ll do at work and vice versa.
Often I find the word balance implies that it’s a zero-sum game and one comes at the cost of the other. In my experience, they’re complimentary and actually aid each other, so as long as you are doing something you value.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
Running around 50 miles per week for marathon training has been one of the biggest lifestyle changes I’ve ever made and had a hugely positive impact on balance and ironically on work productivity too. It definitely helps fuel the work-life flywheel.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
One book that I’d recommend to anyone, but one that should be on every founder’s bookshelf is Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness. This is a bible on the 21st-century version of the good life and has taught me a lot about myself, how I work and how I lead my life.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’d love to share my favourite quote:
“The best climber in the world is the one who’s having the most fun,” by Alex Lowe.
Often people put a huge amount of pressure on themselves to “win” or “succeed” and compare themselves to others. It’s important to remember that ultimately only you decide whether you’ve won or not – and being the best is defined by how happy you are and not any external factors such as status, wealth or accolades. So go be the best in the world by being the happiest – and the rest will take care of itself.