February 22, 2024

Dr. A.I. “Ed” Mlavsky, recently the founding partner of Gemini Israel Ventures, died earlier this month.
British by birth, Mlavsky graduated from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1950, and in 1953, earned a PhD in physical chemistry. He moved to the United States in 1956 and joined a start-up, Tyco, as a co-founder, where he contributed to over 50 scientific articles and counted 24 patents to his name.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Tyco grew, and Mlavsky became CTO, a director, and later president before transferring as Executive VP to an entity in the creation of which he was the prime mover, namely Mobil Tyco Solar Energy Corporation, later sold to Schott Solar.
In 1979, Mlavsky accepted an invitation to move to Israel to serve as executive director of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD-F). Its mission was to promote and support mutually beneficial activities in industrial research between US and Israeli companies. He remained in that position for 13 years until he left BIRD-F to found Gemini Israel Ventures.
The BIRD Foundation was established by the US and Israeli governments in 1977 to generate mutually beneficial cooperation between US and Israeli companies, providing both matchmaking support and funding covering up to 50% of project development costs, up to $1M per project.
Since its inception in 1977, BIRD-F has approved over 1000 projects with leading US companies, with cumulative sales of products developed through BIRD-F projects exceeding $10 billion.
By the time Mlavsky founded Gemini Israel Ventures in 1993, he was already widely recognized as one of the founding fathers of Israeli hi-tech and venture capital activities. He was chosen to manage the first venture capital fund to emerge from the Israeli government’s Yozma program, which successfully jump-started the Israeli venture capital industry.
He also served on many boards of directors of Gemini’s portfolio companies and as Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum. Mlavsky received many awards and was proudest of the receipt of an honorary doctorate from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1994. His book, Milk and Honey and High-Tech, was published in 2009 and tells the remarkable story of the early days of Israeli hi-tech and venture capital.
He set high standards for himself and the people with whom he worked, acting as a catalyst for the growth of Israeli tech companies. As such, he rightly earned the respect of the entire Israeli hi-tech community, and his departure from the scene creates a void that will be difficult to fill.
May his soul rest in eternal peace and may his memory be for a blessing.