TORONTO - A new homegrown program to help support emerging Canadian designers has selected five finalists who will showcase their collections at Toronto's LG Fashion Week.

Mercedes-Benz Canada and IMG are behind Mercedes-Benz Start Up. Launched in June, the program is aimed at providing a national platform to discover and offer assistance to up-and-coming designers who have been in business for less than five years.

Twenty designers were selected from a pool of submissions to move on to the semi-final round of competition. In its inaugural year, the semi-finals took place in Montreal and Vancouver, but will later expand to include four provinces by the second year and beyond.

Martin Lim and UNTTLD were selected from the Montreal semi-finals, while Cassie Dee and denim company Triarchy were chosen in the Vancouver semis.

Montreal-based designer Travis Taddeo, who earned the fifth "wild card" spot, will be making a return to Fashion Week in Toronto. The decision was made to add the wild card following the Vancouver semi-finals, as those behind the program decided "the quality of work and enthusiasm displayed by the applicants" warranted the addition.

All five finalists will be featured in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up show slated to take place on Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.

Fashion Magazine has signed on as as the exclusive magazine sponsor of the program, with editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra joining the judging panel at the final group show.