Regis alumnus and veteran Sam Peterson’s business focuses on transforming mental health

From post-traumatic stress disorder to depression, Sam Peterson knows all too well the mental health struggles veterans face when they return home. A veteran of the U.S. Army and a former explosive ordnance disposal technician, Peterson struggled with mental health challenges once he left the military and watched as an epidemic of suicide rates among EOD technicians grew. Friends stepped in to help Peterson, leading to an experience that transformed his outlook on mental health.

It's a transformation he wants to provide for others who struggle.

Now an entrepreneur and founder of two mental health organizations, the Invictus Project and Mind Spa, Peterson is working toward transforming mental health care. Peterson, who earned his MBA in 2020 and his undergraduate degree in business administration in 2018, said his experiences at Regis helped shape him as an entrepreneur.

Peterson and Professor and Director of the Regis Innovation Center Ken Sagendorf were both recently included in footage of a NewsNation story that highlighted Bunker Labs, a business incubator that intends to help military veterans and spouses start businesses and startups. Watch the coverage here.

When the clip was filmed, Peterson was working with Sagendorf, who was helping him develop plans for the Invictus Project, a nonprofit dedicated to treating veterans and first responders who struggle with traumatic brain injuries and mental health disorders. In 2019, Peterson and former business partner Jeff Haugland were finalists in the Regis Innovation Challenge, a Shark Tank-style business competition that gives budding businesses the chance to compete for $10,000 and co-working space, as well as business mentorship.

After the challenge, Peterson continued to grow as an entrepreneur, relying on support from mentorship.

Peterson said he became connected to Bunker Labs as he was working on the Invictus Project, participating in the Veterans in Residence Program, a business incubator that provides co-working space, a national network and support to help veterans grow their businesses.

“We went through that entire incubator over a six-month period, got introduced to a ton of other veterans who were on their own business journey,” he said. “(It’s an) absolutely wonderful program and it helped a ton.”

Since then, Peterson has moved on to create another business focusing on mental health. Mind Spa began seeing patients via telehealth in 2021 and opened a clinic in June. Patients who receive treatment at Mind Spa start off with a psychiatric consultation so that clinicians can get a full picture of patients’ brains. From there, the clinic designs a treatment program that might include ketamine infusion therapy, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, traditional talk therapy, outpatient psychiatry services or transcranial magnetic stimulation.

As he built both businesses, Peterson said he relied on the connections made among veterans and business leaders, especially those made through Bunker Labs. 

“That personal touch really makes a huge difference,” Peterson said.


If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, connect with Colorado Crisis Services. The service offers free and confidential support via phone, text and walk-in crisis centers. Their 24/7 hotline can be reached at 1-844-493-8255, as well as via text. Text “TALK” to 38255. Find the nearest walk-in crisis center here.