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California Dreaming

Words: Maricar Jagger, Public Events Manager at The University of Portsmouth

Steve Rad is one of the University of Portsmouth’s success stories. Born in Southsea and raised in Telephone Road, he went to nearby schools and confessed to being ‘a bit of a lad’ in his younger days.

Age 8, Steve’s father decided to chase his American dream to seek his fortune. Left behind, Steve’s mother raised him single-handedly.

At 12, his father invited him to live with him in Orange County, California. There he fell into a geeky crowd and spent much of his time computing.

Back in Southsea two years later, Steve went to King Richard School in Paulsgrove, Portsmouth College, followed by a degree in Computer Science at the University of Portsmouth.

California had inspired him. Even before he graduated, he had already set up his own company with fellow student James Taylor. Radweb was born in a flat on Alhambra Road. Two years later Steve registered the company officially, and graduated from his degree. After a spell of work, he enrolled on a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing at the Portsmouth Business School. 

Steve and James Taylor worked hard to build the company, and began employing staff. 

“I believe in surrounding myself with good people, and I want them to be cleverer than me”, he said. He wants to work with people who share a strong passion for the business. 

Nowadays, Radweb has an office in Hilsea with 14 employees and a turnover of over £900k. He takes on a couple of students each year on work placement.

At 33, with a growing business under his belt, Steve can take time out to enjoy life with his partner and two children – who keep him grounded. Steve still  helps out with his uncle’s music business and sponsors Victorious Festival. If he’s looking for a night out, he heads for Albert Road, he also recommends Kassia’s tapas-style Indian dishes in Osborne Road.

In November, he will be sponsoring the Big Networking Night at the Portsmouth Business School.

If you would like to realise your own dream of growing your company, join Steve Rad and the most powerful person in media, Karen Blackett OBE, on 15 November. For more information contact events@port.ac.uk


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