When Jamie Beaton made his first big pitch in early 2014, no one knew quite what to make of him. Slight, but making up for any lack of physical presence with a well-calibrated motor-mouth, he'd only recently reached an age where he could take over directing his own company from his mother.

The preternaturally precocious Beaton told a host of potential angel investors that he had seen the future, and that was the path he had just walked.

READ MORE: Meet Jamie Beaton: Kiwi, Harvard student and on first-name terms with US billionaires.