THE London Stock Exchange is launching a support programme for small and medium sized enterprises enjoying high growth which is to include two Scottish companies in its first cohort.

The Elite programme is designed to help the founders and chief executives of private companies to develop their businesses and get them in the right shape to attract investment.

It will be run in partnership with Imperial College Business School.

Scottish technology companies are included in the group of 20 firms selected to complete the first programme.

Glasgow-based Taragenyx has developed coatings aimed at helping patients heal faster with less pain when metal hip, knee or other implants, as well as tooth implants, are infected or work loose.

The company became the first biotechnology firm in Glasgow's Entrepreneurial Spark "incubator" in November 2012.

Money Dashboard, based in Edinburgh, has developed an online application that allows people to load their banking and credit card accounts from different brands into a single view, making it easy to monitor spending.

Both companies have already won backing from external investors.

The two-year Elite programme helps firms identify areas for improvement and to make changes.

It will also provide them with access to investors, such as business angels, private equity houses, fund managers and public companies.