Jonathan Schneider has joined the executive ranks of Invisible Universe as its first president of studios.
To support the growth of the digital-first animation studio, he will help build new business verticals and also lead the adoption of new technologies—which includes motion capture, real-time rendering and AI-associated tools.
Based in LA, Schneider officially stepped into the role this month and reports to Invisible Universe co-founder and CEO, Tricia Biggio.
Schneider began his career in assistant roles at agencies like ICM Partners and WME. But his foray into the animation industry began in 2007 at Nickelodeon Animation, where he spent three years as coordinator and later, manager of animation development.
It preceded an eight-year stint at Disney TV Animation until 2019, where he moved up the ranks to oversee content development and budgets for Disney Channels. In his most recent role, he worked at LA’s Skydance (Luck) as SVP of operations and business strategy for three years, departing in January 2023.
Biggio noted in a release that Schneider’s double-edged experience made him a perfect fit for this role. “Jonathan is a bit of a Hollywood unicorn in that he has straddled both creative and operations at executive levels for some of the biggest companies in media.”
The appointment follows a number of key executive hires at Invisible Universe over the past year—including Nerissa Holder Hall as head of franchise and Shane Mang as head of licensing—after raising US$12 million in a major round of funding in August last year.
The company follows a digital-first strategy of incubating IPs on social media before expanding them into other streams, such as movies, TV, merchandise and games. Its trove of animated characters include actor Jennifer Aniston’s Clydeo, which was inspired by her real-life dog Clyde, and Squeaky and Roy from TikTok influencers Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.
Invisible Universe’s flagship franchise, however, is Qai Qai—an IP inspired by a doll belonging to tennis player Serena Williams’ daughter. The kid-friendly character, which has more than five million followers across social media, stars in a newly launched YouTube series called Dance With Qai Qai, and is also poised to branch out into consumer products programs.