We pioneer innovation in the Czech market, setting the benchmark for others. And now we also teach it!

Bringing innovation to everyone

Learn, innovate, succeed: Access tested tools, learn from our mistakes, and master specific tasks. While we can't make you an expert innovator in a few hours, you'll leave with practical tips to enhance your everyday practice.

What we offer

Choose a course that suits you, or have one tailored specifically to your needs. We will adjust the schedule to fit your requirements.

Introduction to HCD

How to make the most from human-centered design

How to make successful products and services, minimise the risk of investing in innovation and make decisions based on evidence, not assumptions. For all those who create new things, no matter for whom.

Duration: 8 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 participants

Date: 11. 1. 2024

Time and venue: from 9 5 p.m. Direct People

Price: 3 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Michaela Stránská and/or Petra Kalousková

  • Principles – what is Human-centered design and what are the principles behind most innovation methodologies
  • Process – how to properly formulate the brief and plan the entire process to the outcome
  • Empathy – gaining customer understanding and how to conduct conversations
  • Opportunities – how to uncover and articulate needs and where to focus
  • Ideas – techniques on how to quickly generate a large number of radically different ideas
  • Prototyping – how to quickly and inexpensively test the functionality of a solution
  • Understanding why it makes sense to innovate with HCD
  • Hands-on experience of the whole process through an example
  • Feedback at points where you are unsure
  • Materials that can be used at each stage on your own projects

How to turn idea into a business model

Lead Canvas in practice

How to bring your idea, product or startup to life and find a working business model for it. A practical, multi-project and Ash Maurya-tested guide to increase your potential to succeed.

Duration: 4 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 participants

Date: 18. 1. 2024, cancelled due to illness

Time and venue: from 3 to 7 p.m., Direct People

Price: 1 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Tomáš Bartl and/or Sebastián Dibusz

Recommended preparation before the course – filling in the Lean Canvas of the existing/planned product.

  • Introduction – business model vs. business plan, alternatives to Lean Canvas and basic procedure for working with it
  • Leaner Canvas – problem and target segment tuning
  • Business model – consistency of proposition, solution and relevant path to customers given the pricing model
  • Sustainability of the model – viability of the model and measurement of its functionality
  • Validation – ways to verify the model
  • You will try out the process of how to work with Lean Canvas
  • A checklist on how to spot potential problems in the model
  • Lots of insights and stories from our innovation practice

Experimentation as a way out of uncertainty

Learn by making mistakes, but not expensive ones.

How to spot blind alleys, or gain confidence that you're going the right way? Experiment at every stage of product development. We'll teach you the basic Ashe Maurya techniques that you can start using immediately.

Duration: 4 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 participants

Date: 25. 1. 2024, fully booked

Time and venue: from 3 to 7 p.m., Direct People

Price: 1 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Tomáš Bartl 

  • Introduction – principles and process of experimentation
  • Defining assumptions – how to formulate and prioritise them
  • Types of experiments – for the most common assumptions, examples of experiments from our projects
  • Verification management – defining test parameters, metrics and minimum success criteria
  • Checklist of well-defined assumptions and experiments
  • Overview of experiments of varying degrees of complexity and informational value
  • Knowledge of how to foster a culture of experimentation and maintain direction when things go wrong
  • Hands-on experience with the entire experiment from prototype design to evaluation

From action to traction

Principles of successfully bringing products and services to market.

How to ensure that your startup, product or service thrives? How to do the right things at the right time and get to your goal as efficiently as possible? A practical workshop focusing on the different stages of development for all leaders where you will get a clear roadmap for successful traction and scaling of your startup, product or service.

Duration: 4 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 top leaders

Date: 1. 2. 2024

Time and venue: from 3 to 7 p.m., Direct People

Price: 1 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Petr Šídlo and/or Josef Dvořák

  • Discovering Purchasable Demand – Verifying Market Needs, Importance of Willingness to Pay (WTP)
  • Raising first capital – pre-seed strategy
    Building the minimum viable product (MVP) and testing it in the market
  • Acquiring first customers – the importance of scalability and traction and how to present it to investors
  • Growth and expansion – product and process optimization, development strategies and planning for broader market expansion
  • Team building – recruiting talent and developing team infrastructure
  • A brief guide for each stage of startup development
  • Case studies and real-life examples of successes and failures
  • Tools and strategies for building traction and scaling your business

Effective innovation management

How to ensure your business will still be here 100 years.

Learn how to think like an innovator and use strategic tools to plan and manage innovation so that your business will be here in a hundred years. We will guide you through all the essential aspects of innovation and innovation leadership.

Duration: 4 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 participants

Date: 22.2 2024, fully booked

Time and venue: from 3 to 7 p.m., Direct People

Price: 3 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Josef Dvořák and/or Petr Šídlo

  • Introduction – mutual introduction, sharing of expectations, objectives and agenda
  • Product vision and mission – uncovering big opportunities
  • Innovation portfolio – prioritisation of initiatives by level of innovation
  • Market delivery – gaining support and creating the right environment
  • Summary and feedback – Innovation Leader Checklist, meeting expectations, discussion
  • Insight into the mindset of successful innovators
  • A concrete plan to get started in your company
  • How to set goals and measure performance
  • How to get the leadership and people in your company behind your cause

AI not only for innovators

How to practically use AI in product development.

With the development of AI comes practices that can help you with innovation projects or in the design of new products and services. Find out what the best current tools are and where AI can work for you and on behalf of you.

Duration: 4 hours

Capacity: maximum 10 participants

Date: 29.2. (fully booked), 7.3., 21.3., 4.4., 18.4. 2024

Time and venue: from 3 to 7 p.m., Direct People

Price: 1 900 CZK without VAT / participant

Instructor: Josef Dvořák or Filip Valíček

  • Introduction – what is and how AI works
  • Tools for everyday use – their strengths and weaknesses for working with text and images
  • How to prompt – how to practically get the most out of AI
  • What to watch out for – the safety of working with data and other potential risks
  • AI in product design – examples in research, prototyping and other common activities
  • Discussion and other resources
  • Understanding how AI works, what it’s good for and what it’s not yet good for
  • A list of the most useful tools and practices
  • Tips and tricks on how to prompt
  • Practical experience and inspiration on how to make your job easier
  • A list of useful resources that are worth following.

Customized course

Discover a personalized learning experience tailored to your interests. Contact us today, and let's create a customized course just for you.

Do you need advice on which course is the right one for you? Or whether the Academy is suitable for you?

Why choose us

Get more for less

If you decide to complete at least three of our courses, you will receive a 30% discount. And it's worth it.

We are flexible 

The courses take place either at our location or at your place. Depending on the agreement and the number of participants.

Learn from the best

Draw on the years of experience of the Academy's instructors and apply our decisions and practices to your own projects.

Meet the experts behind our courses

Petr Šídlo

Co-founder and partner of DP, who started in IT and, as he didn't want to do projects that would end up in a drawer, founded a company focused on innovation. Since people started coming to him, the company has grown to become the largest and oldest of its kind in the domestic market. Petr has a track record of successful projects for clients, building startups, and transforming the lives of many companies through the innovative culture he has cultivated within them.

Josef Dvořák

Partner at Direct People, an innovation leader with extensive experience in medtech and healthcare innovation. At Direct People, he has led projects such as Linet, which resulted in an alarm system that is successfully sold in 34 markets, including one of the toughest markets in the world - the USA. Pepa (short for Josef) is a true innovator at heart and a conqueror of new markets.

Tomáš Bartl

Our Chief Innovation Methodologist, strategist, and innovation leader, who has been building products and services at Direct People for almost ten years. Tomáš is strict and follows methodologies and insights from respondents. And one more thing. Everyone is surprised by how he thinks. The most common reaction when meeting Tomáš? Why didn't I think of that too...

Michaela Stránská

Míša has been conducting training since the early days of joining Direct People. She has led workshops for participants of the Social Impact Award competition and has conducted numerous trainings for clients. With her experience on projects for LMC, Anect, Česká spořitelna, and Kooperativa, she can share practical tips and advice on HCD, as well as innovation culture and innovation management.

Petra Kalousková

Petra enjoys listening to people's stories and uncovering their unspoken needs. She studied at Charles University and has extensive experience in research and innovation. Currently, she provides training at the development company V1. Her ability to leverage research findings to create products and services that truly fulfill customer needs is valuable for innovative teams and clients.

Sebastián Dibusz

Sebastián is the leader of our innovation projects and has experience in creating both physical and digital products. He has worked on projects for T-Mobile, LMC, Quanti and CEZ, where he mapped the customer journey and created new services. He also has experience in lecturing at the University of Economics in Opportunity recognition and business model development.

What participants say about the Academy

Satisfied clients

Have you made your choice? Write to us

Fill in the required data with your choice of course and date. If you didn't find what you were looking for or are interested in a different course/topic/date, please contact us. Together we will work something out.

Billing Information

Are you in hurry? Give us a call or send us a message directly

+420 724 048 808


Our courses are not based on theory but on years of practical experience. We have completed numerous projects, which means we have a wealth of examples of both good and bad practices. We are skilled trainers because we have been doing it for over a decade. We don’t come to train you in what we’ve read on the internet but to pass on the best of what we ourselves have been using for years. Our training will be conducted by our most experienced partners and senior project leaders.

We are flexible. Get in touch with us, and we’ll figure something out.

For innovation managers, team leaders, business owners, product managers in large companies responsible for new products/services. These courses will also be beneficial for team leaders, senior employees in large companies expected to have a positive impact on improvement, as well as departments where innovation is not the primary focus of work, such as IT, operations, customer care, and others. Our courses are for people with an open mind who are not afraid to do things differently and engage in completely different tasks.

Yes, beginner-innovators are welcome, and the courses will be interesting for you, although they are primarily designed for more senior professionals.

Yes, Direct Academy is open to individuals and groups. The ideal maximum number is around 10 people. If your team is larger, the training can be divided or customized for more people.

Use the form above, leave us your contact details, and we will get back to you. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the contact information provided on the website – email:, phone: +420 724 048 808.

Yes, if you order at least 3 courses, you will receive a 30% discount. Unfortunately, we do not offer group discounts. The price is set as low as possible to cover our organizational costs. We are not a training agency that relies on training as its primary source of income, but innovators who want to educate the market and spread the idea that it makes sense to create products and services that are beneficial to both customers and investors.

After finalizing the details, we will send you an advance invoice, which should be paid before the course takes place. If your company does not allow this, we will find an alternative approach.

All courses are conducted in Czech, but we can also provide training in English upon request.

If you notify us 48 hours before the course, you can reschedule it to another date or choose a different training for free. It is also possible to send a replacement. If you inform us less than 48 hours before the start of the course, the course fee will be forfeited.

If you are interested in further education, we can arrange an individual program. We are open to additional formats and courses that delve into greater detail.

Unfortunately, no. Each of our courses is unique, and the content is co-created by the participants, so we would have to record every course separately. Additionally, the information shared during the course may be sensitive for participants. Therefore, we always ask participants to keep the information they hear during the course confidential. However, after the course is completed, participants will receive the presentation and materials used during the course.