In 2013, Melissa began coaching for the Master of Science of Technology (MSTC) program at The University of Texas at Austin, while simultaneously teaching for the department of Communication Studies and pursuing her PhD in Organizational Communication & Technology. After being surrounded by entrepreneurs and business students daily, Melissa branded her coaching as The Pitch Academy in the summer of 2014 . Since, 2013 Melissa has expanded her clients to include 3 more masters of business programs in Austin, incubators such at The Bunker, as well as partnered with start up giants such as the Tech Map.


Melissa Murphy, Founder & Chief Communication Coach

Melissa teaches Professional Communication Skills and Organizational Communication for the Department of Communication Studies, as well as assists in courses such as Marketing Technology Innovations and Converting Technology to Wealth for the MSTC program. She has published work on web conferencing in the classroom, international crisis communication, and professionalism for graduates. She has presented research at the NCA and NISOD’s Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence as well as leads numerous communication skills workshops all around Austin. Recognized by the Speech Communication Association as the most outstanding graduate teacher in the state of Texas, she was also recently awarded Assistant Instructor of the Year at The University of Texas in Communication.

When not coaching, teaching or researching she spends time with her papillon, The Pitch Academy mascot, having brunch with friends and enjoying the beautiful outdoors in Austin as much as she can.

  Email Melissa  |     513-600-8585


Kelsi Kamin, Digital Marketing & Strategy Intern

The minute that Kelsi was exposed to Austin’s technology startup scene, there was no going back. As a Communication Consulting Intern, Kelsi is involved with all things related to startups and pitching to investors. Kelsi leads content strategy for The Pitch Academy, and since joining Melissa as the first employee, Kelsi has assisted with branding, digital marketing, recruitment, and partnerships.

She loves blogging, spreadsheets, SaaS, and Shiner.

  Email Kelsi  |     Phone Number


Cilla Sutfin, Creative & Marketing Intern

Cilla joined The Pitch Academy team as the Interactive Marketing intern in January 2015. She’s a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, and is known as our creative thinker, strategic marketer, and photographer. With previous positions in numerous startups from Austin, TX to Sydney, Australia, Cilla came to The Pitch Academy with a lot of varied experience.

When she’s not curating social media content, blogging, or taking pictures for The Pitch Academy, you can find her trying new coffee shops or hiking with her friends.

  Email Cilla  |     Phone Number


Joe Lester, Marketing & PR Intern

Joe handles merchandise and works with the teams resident one-line marketeer and Public Relations intern. The Pitch Academy is Joe’s first step into the start-up scene and specializes in our student market segment.

He is a Junior at the University of Texas, and when he’s not dropping one-line wonders on social media you can find him between the lines of a basketball court or out and about around Austin with his friends.

  Email Joe  |     Phone Number


Jessica Dreiling, Marketing & Communications Intern

Jessica joined our team in 2015 as a Marketing and Communications Intern. She works on our social media presence, writes for our blog, and is interested in discovering more about the startup world. Jessica brings her BuzzFeed addiction to our blog by creating pitch-perfect lists, humoring and inspiring our readers to just pitch it.

You’ll most likely find her somewhere on UT’s campus with her nose in a current best-seller, or at a coffee shop contributing to our “Lattés Consumed” count.​

  Email Jessica  |     Phone Number


Holmes Lybrand, Marketing & Communications Intern

Holmes is The Pitch Academy’s Production Manager intern. His experience as a Writing Consultant at The University of Texas as well as studying Corporate Communication at the Moody College of Communication has provided him with a great deal of exposure to the world of communication and its application in the business world. With a love for branding, an eye for photography and style, and a passion for new ideas and strategies Holmes fits perfectly within the team!

Getting on his good side involves sharing a love for coffee, Ernest Hemingway, film cameras and vinyl’s, backpacking, boxing, or global politics – if you’re a subscriber to The Economist that definitely doesn’t hurt!​

  Email Holmes  |     Phone Number


Pitch, The Mascot  

Pierre​, aka ‘Pitch,’ ​is The Pitch Academy’s mascot​ and ​most ​loyal teammate​. Pierre is ​without a doubt the team’s most fearless communicator. ​He can hold a crowd’s attention without saying a word​ and has the ability to pacify our most anxious clients​. When he’s not busy stealing the show, you can find him ​prancing through Austin, causing mischief and ​making friends with everyone he meets​​. Pierre is easy on the eyes, but don’t let that cute exterior fool you – he’s as competitive as he is cute, and as fierce as he is furry.